After six and a half hours of testimony, a New Jersey state Assembly committee passed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. The measure passed 5-2 along party lines; Governor Chris Christie has said he will veto the legislation if it's passed by both houses.
The full Assembly will vote on the bill on February 16. The state senate will vote on the matter on February 13. The bill has already passed a senate committee.
At the same time the committee was taking testimony, Christie repeated before an overflow crowd at a town hall meeting in Morris County that he would veto any same-sex marriage bill that landed on his desk.
He again offered up the alternative he proposed last week: a referendum on the issue in November, noting that 31 other states had already done so. What he failed to say, however, was that such a referendum has never been approved by voters.
"The fact is, they don't trust the people of New Jersey to decide," Christie said, referring to supporters of the measure.
It is still not clear whether a bill will even reach Christie's desk. Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), a sponsor of the measure, acknowledged that so far he has not lined up majority in his chamber.
Gusciora said today he was close to getting at least 41 votes, an Assembly majority, and would spend the next two weeks firming up support.