Sweeney: same-sex decision today civil rights victory

SEWELL – Senate President Steve Sweeney reveled this afternoon in what he called the civil rights victory of Gov. Chris Christie ceasing legal opposition to gay marriage in New Jersey.

“I was surprised, I was happy,’’ Sweeney said after a joint appearance with the governor here to break ground on an educational facility for students with disabilities at Gloucester County College.

He acknowledged the Legislature will have to figure out how to deal with unresolved issues involving religious exceptions, but that is for later.  “It’s the law of the land now,’’ he said. “It’s about the majority not telling a minority what to do.”

Christie read last week’s state high court decision allowing marriages to be conducted while the court scheduled oral arguments for next year, Sweeney said. “He knew the state wasn’t going to be successful.” That ruling was unanimous, and its wording clearly indicated which way the court would be leaning next year had this case been argued.

The place that Sweeney said is in for it now is Pennsylvania, the last remaining Northeast state without same-sex marriage. He said that in time, the course of events will force change in that state as well.

Sweeney: same-sex decision today civil rights victory