Deputy Assembly Majority Leader Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton) released a statement Wedensday declaring the “time is ripe” for his Marriage Equality bill to be posted in the Assembly.
He has asked Assembly Judiciary Chair Peter Barnes and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver to post the measure before the end of the year, or what's known as the lame duck session.
“I believe the time is ripe for this important civil rights measure, which will make the difference for many New Jerseyans who wish to form a union without the stigma of second class citizenship,” Gusciora said.
He said the state's previous Civil Union law falls “woefully short” in recognizing a same sex couple’s ability to marry in New Jersey.
“The fact remains that there are countless gay couples in this state that own property, pay taxes and raise children here, yet are sidelined by a lack of legal recognition of their marital bonds,” said Gusciora. “If marriage is a contractual relationship sanctioned by the state government, then it should be done on an equitable basis.”
He said the public supports his bill, as do Republicans in both houses. He is not worried about a potential veto from Gov. Chris Christie.
"Regardless of the Governor’s actions, this measure advances the ball until there is a full recognition that gay couples should enjoy the full rights of marital status in this state.”