Gallery packed with Garden State Equality activists as Doherty assumes oath of office

TRENTON – The irony is that Garden State Equality activists pack the gallery here in the Senate chamber for the swearing-in ceremony of uber conservative state Sen.-elect Mike Doherty (R-Washington Twp.).

They are in attendance today to ramrod gay marriage through the corridors of both houses prior to Gov. Jon Corzine's departure with the new year.

Doherty is a staunch opponent of the measure.

Former Assemblyman Dick Kamin – a Doherty ally – tries to make way for Doherty backers, butGarden StateEquality dominates.

Before assuming the rostrum below, state Senate President Richard Codey (D-Roseland) appears briefly in the gallery.

"We're going to swear in (Sen.-elect Mike Doherty), and then we're going to have the vote,"says Codey, referring tothe caucus leadership vote in which Democratsfigure Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) will defeat Codey.

At the rostrum now, the sitting Senate President welcomes Gov.-elect Chris Christie and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Guadagno and asks marriage equality acitivists to kindly make way for Doherty relatives and supporters as Codey swearshim into office.

Warren and Hunterdon county backers pile into the gallery, and moments later, sustained applause greets Doherty.

Gallery packed with Garden State Equality activists as Doherty assumes oath of office