We all believe in second and third acts, and when it comes to the fate of legislation it can sometimes be a bit of a bumpy ride. Just as opponents appeared to have won the debate over gay marriage which would have prevented the bill from even coming up for a vote, it looks now as though the proponents of gay marriage will indeed get their day. Maybe.
An insider tells me that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo has sent a draft schedule to the Senate President’s office for next Monday which includes the bill S1967. That is the bill legalizing marriage between same sex couples in New Jersey. The Senate President must approve the bills that will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 7th. So for now, it is up to Dick Codey. Should he greenlight it, that bill will finally get it’s long awaited hearing.
This is tricky for some lawmakers who were more than happy to see it die from lack of oxygen. However, some advocates would like to know which legislators may have been talking outta both sides of their mouths on this one – telling the gay rights groups they would vote for it, while promising the church they would not. Once that vote is on the record it will be a day a reckoning as they say in the game of Life ( I mean that literally…”Life” is a board game ).
The word is that the Assembly would not take up it’s version of the bill without the Senate going first. However, the evolving nature of this emotional legislation comes as more than 200 people sign a petition asking for a hearing. Who signed it? certainly some big names you’ve heard of like Congressmen Frank Pallone and Steve Rothman, but also Democratic staffers who have worked in both politics and government. These are the people who are household names to insiders but are not neccesarily well known outside the State House. They are however, the backbone and dare I even say the soul of the Democratic party.