The new legislative session has been extremely puzzling to me. After the November elections, our elected representatives pledged to take on the pressing issues facing our state: jobs, unemployment, education reform and taxes. Instead, they spent their first full week playing a game of political theater passing their “number one priority,” gay marriage, a bill they knew would be vetoed by the governor.
In fact, since Governor Christie was elected in 2009 and the legislature failed to pass a gay marriage bill under then lame-duck Governor Corzine, he has pledged to veto any further efforts to redefine marriage. He has been consistent in calling for a public referendum to let the people of New Jersey decide this important social issue. If the 120 legislators in Trenton are concerned about giving gay marriage a chance in our state, they would pass a bill proposing a public referendum. Judging by the ‘Yes’ votes and the Republicans who have called for such a referendum, it would pass by the needed supermajority to be on the November ballot.
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, if you want a chance to settle the gay marriage debate in New Jersey, you should be in favor of a referendum on the November 2012 ballot. Maybe then, the legislature can begin to work on the people’s business and pass the reforms needed to continue our recovery.