Sarlo: Same sex marriage bill should not have reached Senate floor

TRENTON — State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-ridge), among the three Democrats taking heat for abstaining on Thursday’s marriage equality vote, said that he decided not to vote because he didn’t think the bill should have gotten to the senate floor.

“Everybody already knew there were only fourteen positive votes. I don’t believe you should go through an exercise just to incite and give people false hopes,” said Sarlo.  “That was more about political grandstanding from various entities and various individuals, and there was no need to put everybody out there through that.”

Sarlo was already on the record opposing gay marriage after he voted against releasing it from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, in December.  Sarlo said that, despite his opposition to the bill, that hearing was “one of the two most rewarding experiences” of his one-year tenure as chairman of the committee.

“We had just over 300 people testify over a 12 hour period.  Both sides praised the process – they might not have been happy with the outcome, but they praised the process,” said Sarlo, who presided over his final hearing as judiciary chairman today and has already been tapped to head the Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Sarlo ranked the re-nomination hearing of State Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin as his other most rewarding experience.

Sarlo: Same sex marriage bill should not have reached Senate floor