Openly gay New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora has introduced a bill to place a marriage equality ballot before the voters that if passed would put the question on the 2013 statewide election ballot.
Gusciora said he has been opposed to putting a civil rights question like marriage equality up to a popular vote. But the Assemblyman — New Jersey’s first openly gay legislator — said his constituents asked him to change his mind in light of last month’s election results. “I am the last person who believes civil rights should be on the ballot, but civil rights delayed is civil rights denied,” Gusciora said. “The timing is right. There is broader acceptance.” Modeled after the Maine ballot question, the bill, (A3611) would need support in both houses of the Legislature and Gov. Chris Christie’s signature to become law. The measure would then be added to the following election-year ballot. Gusciora said he expects the governor would sign his bill. Christie does not personally support gay marriage but has said he would sign a bill giving voters the right to decide the issue. “This is exactly what the Governor wants,” he added.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill passed last February by N.J. State Legislators that would legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey, but said that he would sign same-sex marriage into law if it were passed by popular vote.