New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) said Friday that the state legislature would pass a bill to legalize same sex marriage despite a veto threat from Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
“It is absolutely going to pass on Monday, and I expect it to pass the Assembly on Thursday, and it’s going to go to the governor’s desk,” he said during an appearance on the Brian Lehrer Show.
Christie has pledged to veto the bill, and called for the New Jersey legislature to draft a constitutional amendment and put the issue to a statewide vote. Last week, state Sen. Christopher Bateman (R) responded to the governor’s request, introducing a proposed amendment that would “let the people of New Jersey decide.”
“You don’t put civil rights on the ballot,” Sweeney told Lehrer. “When you put it on the ballot, the majority will always deny the minority.”
“If the governor vetoes the bill, we’re gonna fight to override the governor,” he added. “I have two years to do it almost, so that gives us plenty of time to work on people.”
Overriding the governor’s veto would require two-thirds majority vote in both the Assembly and the Senate.
Supporters of same sex marriage plan to wear blue and fill the galleries of both houses in Trenton this week. Opponents of legalizing same sex marriage, on the other hand, have said they will wear red and gather outside the statehouse.
Polls show the majority of New Jerseyans support the right of same sex couples to wed, according to the Associated Press.