Described as a political hot potato, the NJ gay marriage bill was pulled from the New Jersey State Senate’s voting agenda in December when it became clear the bill had no chance of passing. The sponsors of the bill have asked the Senate’s President, Dick Codey, to put the bill up for a vote before the session expires on January 7th. Codey, a Democrat, stated he has not yet decided what he will do. Apparently, Codey believes there are not enough votes in the NJ Senate to pass the bill.
The NJ State Senate consists of 23 Democrats and 17 Republicans, if I counted correctly. The bill would require 21 votes in order to pass and then be sent to the Assembly for their vote. So there are a few Democrats in the NJ Senate not willing to say ‘yea’ to gay marriage at this point in their political careers. Although the bill’s sponsors are pushing for the vote, Codey’s feet dragging is probably to protect the Democratic members not willing to vote for the bill, shielding them from the wrath of gay voters.
Maybe it’s just the end of the holiday blues for me, but I’m feeling that the momentum for gay marriage has run its course. There are just too many other pressing issues facing politicians and Americans right now. Yep, I said ‘other pressing issues’. Gay marriage is not anywhere near the top of the list of concerns of most Americans and that also includes the liberal voter. It doesn’t take an opinion poll to figure that out.
I think we’re long overdue here for a shift in gears when it comes to lesbian and gay rights. The development of a more comprehensive and inclusive strategy and some new fresh leadership would be a good start.