Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R- Somerset), the original prime sponsor of referendum seeking voter approval to amend the state constitution to legalize same sex marriage in New Jersey, today welcomed Assemblyman Reed Gusciora’s support of putting the question to the voters.
“When I introduced the resolution seeking to put a constitutional amendment before voters, Assemblyman Gusciora and others attacked the idea,” said Bateman. “I’m glad that he now understands what I was saying in February: that this is the most pragmatic course of action. A straight up or down vote on legalizing same sex marriage in the constitution, NOT a ‘defense of marriage’ law, gives finality to a matter that if handled by simple legislation could be repealed in the future or mired in litigation for years.”
According to news reports, Assemblyman Gusciora has reconsidered his position on a voter referendum on marriage equality and has submitted legislation putting a referendum on next year’s ballot. Like a recent ballot question approved in Maine, Bateman’s proposal asks voters to approve same sex nuptials rather than outlaw them, as does Gusciora’s.
Bateman invited Gusciora to join his proposal (SCR- 88), noting that unlike the Assemblyman’s bill (A- 3611) it could not fall victim to endless litigation or repealed by legislative act.
“I would encourage my friend, Assemblyman Gusciora, to join me in this effort,” he said. “I appreciate his passion and deep personal investment in this issue, but a constitutional amendment rather than legislative referendum is the cleanest way to resolve the matter once and for all. It avoids delay of implementation from endless litigation, not to mention the possibility of repeal, if the voters of New Jersey give their consent to amending the constitution.”