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N.J. Senate OK’s Gay Marriage Bill, Governor Christie Vetoes

New Jersey lawmakers gave the long-awaited “OK” for gay marriage last Thursday. Although the bill did pass 4233, that was a dozen less than the number needed to override a veto by Governor Chris Christie.

“If the bill comes to my desk, I am vetoing it, and I will use every resource that I have at my disposal to make sure that my veto is sustained,” Christie had said. The bill was said to have been put on his desk last Friday. Gay marriage is a controversial issue all over the country nationwide. Currently, seven states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage. As a result of Christie’s veto, New Jersey will not be the eighth state to permit gay marriage.

Dr. Rekha Datta of the Political Science Department offered her perspective on the recent events. “Governor Christie’s veto of the bill was not unexpected,” she said. “Under such circumstances, technically, an override is a possibility. In this particular instance, however, that remains unlikely. It seems that there will be a referendum on the question in November’s ballot.”

Jackie Centifonti, a senior, said, “Marriage is between a man and a woman, not all states have to make gay marriage legal, and New Jersey just isn’t one of them.”

Christie might have vetoed the bill, but he invoked a conditional veto, meaning that it can be looked over by the legislation and returned to Christie with revisions. This allows the people of the homosexual community, as well as heterosexuals who are in favor of gay marriage, a glimmer of hope.

Students at the University voiced their own opinions on this controversial issue. “I believe everyone should be able to get married,” said Christine Amoscato, a sophomore. “Love is love no matter who it is, and everyone deserves it.”

Amoscato wasn’t the only one who commented on love being for any and all people. “It’s fair and there is no reason that all people shouldn’t be allowed to be happy,” said Brooke Verdiglione, a sophomore.

The College Republicans also released the following statement:  “We commend Governor Christie for standing by his promise to the voters of New Jersey and the principles on which he ran and continues to demonstrate in his daily work for the state of New Jersey.”

However, the sentiment is not unanimous. Mike Rizzi, senior and member of the College Republicans, believes the bill is okay because “it doesn’t impose on religious beliefs, it’s only imposing on the state.”

When word hit that Christie did in fact veto the gay marriage bill, senior Gina Swedin said she was not pleased with the outcome. “I think he’s totally absurd for doing that and now more people are going to hate him more than they already do,” Swedin said. “When are people going to realize that gay marriage isn’t hurting anyone? We are taking happiness from people who deserve it just as much as we do.”

Jess Beetsch, President of All Lifestyles Included, said that the repeal of the bill is ridiculous. She said that people who are not gay should allow gay marriage to be legalized because it does not affect their lifestyle. “I hope that one day people realize that there’s no difference between who you marry,” she said. “Love is love; it doesn’t see gender.”

Beetsch also said that, even though civil unions are permitted in New Jersey, gay marriage should still be legalized. This is because marriage allows for more rights than civil unions.

Alan Foster is a professor in the Sociology Department who also spoke about the bill. “Having the opportunity to marry anyone you want to me is a basic civil right,” Foster said. “Putting it to the electorate, as the Governor suggests, is not how any form of civil rights has been achieved  the right for women to vote or the integration of the schools, to name a few. I think the Governor is wrong and is only maneuvering for a vice-presidential nomination.”