Marriage equality: How would referendum work?

TRENTON – The process of getting a question on the ballot to amend the Constitution – such as for a referendum on marriage equality – is outlined by Article 9.

Gov. Chris Christie said at his town hall in Bridgewater today to let the voters decide on the future of same sex marriage via ballot question. He said he would veto a bill passed by the Legislature doing the same.

The Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon released S1, which would allow same-sex marriage.

The Constitution states that either branch of the Legislature could propose the amendment.

Public hearings would then take place on the question.

Following that procedure, at least 60 percent of the members of each house must agree to post the ballot question, which means at least 48 members of the Assembly and 24 members of the Senate.

If less than 60 percent of the members agree to hold a public question on the amendment, the article states that it will be “referred to the Legislature in the next legislative year,” and the process starts all over again.

Notice of the amendment, once it’s approved to be put up as a ballot question, must then be placed in newspapers.

If a simple majority of residents approve the measure, then it becomes an amendment on the 30th day after the election.

If it’s rejected, the ballot question could not appear until the third general election afterwards, the constitutional law states.


Marriage equality: How would referendum work?