New Jersey gay marriage vote unexpectedly halted

In a move which caught supporters and foes alike off-guard, the New Jersey State Senate on Wednesday passed on moving toward a vote today on gay marriage legislation.

Speculation reigns that there weren’t sufficient votes rounded up in advance for passage.

The bill will now go to the State Assembly for further debate.

For proponents of gay marriage time is of the essence before the current session ends Jan. 19. Republican governor-elect Chris Christie has vowed to veto any move to legalize gay marriage.

Residents in favor of gay marriage took political button-pushing to a personal level protesting outside legislators’ homes, and in one case, outside the Christmas concert at the Senate Minority Leader’s daughter’s school. The personal protests were denounced by Garden State Equality, a leading gay rights group in the state.

A gay marriage setback would come against recent defeats in the New York State Senate last week and by Maine voters last month in overturning a law which legalized gay marriage. Washington, D.C. is moving rapidly, however, toward legalization.

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