Voter referendum on gay marriage may be 'only option,' says N.J. lawmaker
December 11, 2012By Phil Gregory
A New Jersey lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow voters to decide whether same-sex couples can legally marry.
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora has been opposed to putting a civil rights issue such as marriage equality on the ballot, but he now says the timing is right because public acceptance of gay marriage is increasing.
"Civil rights delayed is civil rights denied, so this is our only option at this point," says Gusciora, D-Mercer.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, one of the major proponents of legislative action on gay marriage, opposes having a voter referendum on the issue.
"I do not believe civil rights or the rights or any minority population should be subjected to the will of the majority," said Weinberg, D-Bergen.
But, argues Gusciora, that may be the only way to get it approved.
"In the very least, you have the dialogue," he said Tuesday. "And if there are Assembly members that would like to move the process forward, maybe in the end the Senate will switch, much as they have done in the past."
Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the gay marriage bill earlier this year, but he has said he would sign a bill letting voters decide the issue.