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Another New Jersey lawmaker announces support for marriage equality

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New Jersey state sealYet another New Jersey lawmaker–and another Republican, at that–has announced he will support a vote to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a marriage equality bill that passed early last year.  Politicker NJ reports:

Assemblyman Chris A. Brown said during a Wednesday evening legislative debate he would vote to override the Republican governor’s veto. Brown’s announcement marks the first time during the lead up to an override vote that a lawmaker who voted against the same-sex marriage bill last year publically announced they would change their vote.

“This is a decision I came to on my own,” Brown said following the debate after telling Atlantic City residents civil rights shouldn’t be decided by a ballot referendum – as Christie has advocated.

“I just believe when it comes to civil rights, I don’t believe it’s appropriate for the public to vote on it,” he said.

Reports have already suggested that four New Jersey assembly members, two of them Republicans, will support the override bill.  Brown, however, is the first lawmaker who voted against the marriage equality bill in 2012 to change his position and announce a yes vote on the veto override.  (The other assembly members were not present for the initial vote.)

As the numbers of supporting lawmakers keep creeping up, marriage equality advocates in the Garden State now need seven more assembly members to back the override.  They also need three more votes in the Senate, where no members have announced a change of heart.

Last month, a state court judge in Trenton ruled that New Jersey’s civil unions are unconstitutional in light of the end of Section 3 of DOMA and ordered the state to allow same-sex couples to marry.  Gov. Christie’s administration requested last week that the state’s supreme court hear the appeal and issue a speedy decision, rather than waiting for the case to proceed through the lower appellate courts.

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