Assembly Democrats call caucus meeting to discuss same sex marriage

Assembly Democrats have called a caucus meeting for Monday at 3 p.m. to discuss same sex marriage.

The bill, which would allow same sex couples to marry, is up for a committee vote on Thursday and will likley be released.  But it’s unknown at this point if the lower chamber has the votes to pass the bill.  At least one Democrat connected to the Assembly speculated that the meeting was called to wrangle votes because leadership is unsure if they required 41 are on board.

But other sources inside the Assembly  said today Democrats are “solidly in the 30s” and at least one Assembly insider said the party will have the 41 votes necessary to pass the measure.

There are at least some Republicans that are reportedly on the fence but a source said Democrats are counting only Assemblywoman, Mary Pat Angelini, (R-11), Ocean Township, in the ‘yes’ column. One of the reported possible supporters, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, (R-13), Little Silver, said Tuesday he’s giving the measure a tremendous amount of thought but has not yet come to a final decision.

“This is a much less cut and dried issue than a lot of folks argue on either side,” O’Scanlon said. “I think I’m spending an appropriate amount of time on it. Right now, I am working my way through making an appropriate decision.”

Many Democrats speculate that Gov. Chris Christie’s announcement last week that he favored putting same sex marriage to a referendum would preclude Republicans from voting in favor, but O’Scanlon said he’ll vote his conscience.

“Nobody has approached me, other than advocates on either side of the issue, to tell me how to vote,” he said.

Whether the bill passes in either house of the Legislature is likely irrelevant to its ultimate fate as Christie has made no bones about his intent to veto it.  The governor reiterated that stance Monday and agan called for a referendum.

If the measure is vetoed, supporters would need a two thirds majority to override it, which sources say is unlikely given the Republican’s push for the referendum.

Assembly Democrats call caucus meeting to discuss same sex marriage