Good background article by Gay City News

On its face, the question of marriage equality in New Jersey appears to be a classic example of a political endgame.

As Gay City News goes to press on January 6, gay marriage legislation faces a critical State Senate vote, and one of the chief sponsors, Democrat Raymond Lesniak of Union, described the prospects as “very discouraging.” “It’ not that we don’t have the votes, it’ how we don’t have the votes,” he told Gay City News on the eve of the Senate action.

Several Republicans predisposed to support the measure, he said, are unwilling to do so because of primary threats from the right. “I understand that and accept that,” Lesniak said. “What I find most disturbing is the Democrats who have nothing to fear, but the Catholic Church has ginned up hundreds of letters and they have backed away.”

Citing “sermons in churches every Sunday,” he said, the Catholic influence “has been decisive,” particularly on Democrats who themselves are Catholic. Church leaders in New Jersey are “fixated” on blocking marriage equality, he argued.

Still, Lesniak said, “We’re pulling out the stops,” and the effort would continue until the votes are counted on the floor on January 7. “Miracles do happen,” he said. “So, don’t give up hope.”