Senate to vote on marriage equality on Thursday

The state senate will vote on marriage equality legislation on Thursday, Senate President Richard Codey (D-Roseland) announced today.

“Given the intensely personal nature of this issue, I think the people of this state deserve the right to a formal debate on the Senate floor,” said Codey.  “I’d like to commend both sides of this issue for their passionate advocacy thus far and the heartfelt testimony that we have heard.”

The legislation was cleared for a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month after seven hours of testimony by supporters and opponents.  But the senate vote was postponed to allow the assembly to consider the bill.

Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) last week announced that he would not post the bill without action in the senate. 

Update, 5:08pm: If the senate passes the legislation, Roberts said he will take the “extraodinary step” of posting the bill directly for a floor vote in Monday’s assembly session.

“As a strong supporter of marriage equality, I’m pleased to see the legislation will get a debate and a vote on Thursday in the Senate,” he said.  “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. We cannot tolerate anything less than equal treatment for all committed couples, so I hope the bill earns enough support to pass the Senate. “

Senate to vote on marriage equality on Thursday