Groups Wants NJ Voters to Decide Same-Sex Marriage [AUDIO]
A new group calling itself the "New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage" feels marriage is, and should always be the union of one man and one woman. Members think if anyone is to decide the issue of same-sex marriage it should be the voters of the Garden State.
Last month, a judge ruled that gay couples must be allowed to marry in New Jersey beginning Oct. 21. Gov. Chris Christie's Administration has appealed the decision. In the meantime, same-sex marriage advocates in the legislature are trying to get the votes needed to override Christie's veto of the marriage equality bill.
"We are confident that the Administration will prevail in its appeal," said Don Sico, a coalition member who is with the National Organization for Marriage. "We are equally confident that proponents of same-sex marriage will be unable to muster the necessary two-thirds votes to prevail on the override. In fact, we will work very hard in the days and weeks ahead to make sure they do not. It is one of the reasons our coalition has been formed."
Democratic leaders in the legislature like Sen. President Steve Sweeney say marriage equality is a civil rights issue and should not be left for the voters to decide. They are also confident the State Supreme Court will rule in favor of same-sex marriage and they claim will secure the votes to override Christie's veto.
Thirty-five other states have let voters weigh in on the issue of gay marriage. In the last election cycle, Maine was among the states where citizens voted to allow gay couples to marry.
"Why is New Jersey different?" asked Sico. "What makes Garden State citizens ill-equipped to consider this particular question? Are we dumber than the good people of Maine? I don't think so."
Coalition members insist that marriage should only be joining of one man and one woman for life. They're pledging a vigorous defense of marriage, including outreach to New Jersey legislators to support Christie's veto.
"Keep in mind that the issue under discussion is marriage not homosexuality," said Jim White, a coalition member who is with the New Jersey State Council Knights of Columbus. "If same-sex marriage should become legal, other groups currently barred from marriage will ask to marry. There will inevitably be demands for legalization of polygamy, polyandry, group marriage and marriage even between siblings."