The trouble here is apparently within the Democratic caucus in the Assembly. Sources now confirm that Pat Deignan, Fred Scalera, Peter Barnes, Joseph Egan and possibly Gary Schaer and Jack Connors are balking at voting for it.
Democrats seem a little wary of exhibiting what some middle-of-the-road voters might consider a far-left agenda during a financial crisis and shortly after the Democratic Governor ( who had spoken out publicly for gay marriage ) was so solidly defeated.
We also shouldn’t play down the significance of the Church on this one. In August the New Jersey Catholic Conference, which represents Catholic Bishops in New Jersey, began collecting signatures which eventually totaled 150,000 people who are currently opposed to gay marriage. And members of the Assembly were literally called out on the pulpit.
In other words, some Democrats are getting the message that not all of New Jersey is there yet when it comes to this issue. And Democrats need to be cautious before they use up valuable time in lame-duck changing social policy that’s been the law of the land since the beginning of the common era.
Many Democrats now believe this issue should be put directly to the voters in a ballot referendum. New York has opted to put it off, California overturned their law and Maine has now done the same.
The truth is, the votes are there in the Senate with Bi-partisan support. That means they will have to go first. If it passes, sources say chances for passage in the Assembly improve, but are still not guaranteed.