NJ Democrat Senate Leader Doesn't Want the People to Vote on Marriage


Even in deep blue New Jersey, pro-gay marriage Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) doesn't want a bill introduced by one of his fellow Democrats calling for a vote of the people on marriage to proceed. Presumably it’s because he fears he will lose such a public vote:

Sen. President Steve Sweeney today reiterated his position that he does not believe same sex marriage is an issue for voters to decide.

Sweeney was responding to a bill introduced by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora that would place the issue on the ballot next November.

"I have firmly stated before and will say again now that I do not believe you put civil rights on the ballot, period. It is the job of elected officials to ensure that everyone is provided equal protection and equal rights under the law. We should not hide from that responsibility...we should embrace it," Sweeney said in a statement. "We gave the governor an opportunity to ensure true marriage equality in this state, just as other states and nations have done. He punted by shamelessly issuing a conditional veto. I fully plan on overriding that veto before this legislative session is done."

Earlier this year the Legislature passed a measure legalizing same sex marriage, however the bill was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie who said at the time the state should let voters decide.

While Sweeney voted in favor of the latest iteration of the "marriage equality" bill, he was not always so inclined.  When the measure came before the Legislature in 2009, Sweeney abstained from the vote.  He later called it the worst decision of his political career. -- PolitickerNJ


  1. flanoggin
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Isn't "deep blue" NJs Governor Republican darling Chris Christie? Also, Sweeney has stated for years he is opposed to putting civil rights up for a vote. Nice spin by your staff though. You may want to consider hiring more clever writers.

  2. Son of Adam
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Redefining marriage is NOT a civil right, flanoggin. SS"M" is no more a civil right than polygamy, bigamy, or incestuous marriages.

    And no SS"M" advocate complained with this issue was put up to a vote a second time in Maine.

    You're one to talk about "spin."

  3. flanoggin
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Sorry Son of Adam. I did not say I thought it was a civil right. Just quoting the source. And there WERE several concerns about putting it up for a vote in Maine by supporters (google it). Sincere apologies for angering you, but Facts are facts..

  4. Son of Adam
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    If there were concerns about putting it up for a vote in Maine, it was because they were afraid they would lose. That's what it all comes down to in spite of all this talk about "civil rights" to cover it up. The fact of the matter is that SS"M" advocates know that they can still loose referendums - that and they have to outspend the opposition by at least 3 to one to have any chance of winning them.

    And perhaps NOM should apologize for angering you.

  5. Ash
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    What "civil right" is Sweeney referring to? SCOTUS has already determined that ssm is not a right, and until the court addresses the matter again, it remains something that can be voted on by the people.

  6. flanoggin
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Son of Adam. Not angry at all. May god bless and keep you.

  7. Zack
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    So he wants to deprive people of the civil right to vote because they might not vote the way he wants?

    Good grief