Senate Democrat leaders call on Kean and GOP to ‘vote their conscience’ on marriage equality

WESTFIELD – Senate Democratic leaders came to Minority Leader Tom Kean’s (R-21) Rockwellian hometown to call on him and Republican colleagues to vote their conscience: shorthand for voting yes on overriding Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of the same-sex marriage bill.

It’s the second public event Democrats have appeared at following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision declaring the federal Defense of Marriage Act invalid.

Today, they gathered at the Dorian Way home of Liz Flanagan and Nancy Wilkinson. The couple have been together for 30 years.

“This is an issue that’s not going to go away. It’s time for the Republicans to recognize that issues such as this are not party positions,” Senate President Steve Sweeney said.

Sweeney said he will schedule an override vote at the request of the advocates.

“The advocates deserve the opportunity to drive this bus,” he said.

Sweeney, along with Sen. Barbara Buono, this year’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Nia Gill and Sen. Ray Lesniak and Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, painted the Republican Party as a spineless group that follows in lockstep with Christie’s wishes. The governor is against same-sex marriage and denounced the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the controversial issue.

In prior sessions, Republican Sens. Jennifer Beck and Diane Allen voted for the bill, giving them 24 votes. But not all Democrats voted for the same sex marriage bill. In the Senate, for example, Sen. Jeff Van Drew and Ron Rice voted no.

In the Senate, 27 votes are needed to override the governor’s veto.

 

Senate Democrat leaders call on Kean and GOP to ‘vote their conscience’ on marriage equality