Senate President Dick Codey (D-Roseland) announced this evening that he will delay tomorrow’s senate vote on marriage equality at the request of the bill’s primary sponsors, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) and Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth).
“Senator Weinberg and Senator Lesniak have expressed their earnest desire to postpone tomorrow’s vote until there has been adequate time to vet the bill before the Assembly Judiciary Committee,” said Codey. “I understand their desire to make sure this bill receives the thorough attention it deserves and therefore I have agreed to postpone tomorrow’s vote until further notice.”
Marriage Equality advocates reportedly hope to have the bill heard in the assembly first, where support is more solid than in the senate.
Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) said that “while I’m disappointed that the sponsors have decided to delay the Senate vote, I certainly understand the view that the public should have an opportunity to be heard in the Assembly.”
Roberts said that no hearing has been scheduled yet, but offered a supportive statement on the bill.
“At this point, this much is clear – our civil union law has failed to live up to even the most modest of hopes and encourages unequal treatment of same-sex couples and their children,” he said.
Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) indicated that she was ready to hold a hearing on the matter if asked by Roberts.
“I would look forward to the committee engaging in a thoughtful and compassionate discussion on this important matter,” she said.