New Jersey Senate Votes NO on Gay Marriage LIVEBLOG

The New Jersey Senate is debating RIGHT NOW the bill to allow same-sex marriage. The Senate majority leader assured everyone the bill had NO CHANCE. How nice. But I guess we’ll see!

You can watch the live video feed here and play along. Ready? Go!

(Disclaimer: These quotes are approximate. We’re pulling them from a video feed and they may be misheard. Also, all times are in Central Standard, cause that’s where I live.)

3:53 PM: And that’s a wrap, dear readers. I’m sure we’ll meet again soon when some other legislature somewhere decides equality is lame.

Feel free to keep sharing your feelings in the comments though! Open thread!

3:47 PM: Oh hey, it’s Sarah Shahi! How did she get in here?! Blame Laneia.

3:45 PM: So that went about how we expected. But don’t worry, love still exists. LOOK AT THESE ADORABLE ANIMALS WHO OBVIOUSLY LOVE EACH OTHER VERY MUCH.

3:38 PM: And it was defeated. The clapping when he said “defeated” made me nauseated.


3:35 PM: A senator whose name I did not catch, sadly: “It’s important for me to stand up and say that everyone has a right to fight for their life, for the kind of life that we all want because that is the American dream. …We all need to stand up, and not judge, but stand up and support others fighting for rights.”

3:32 PM: Are you ready to see some chicks making out? Yeah, I thought so. That’s what these liveblogs are really for.

3:30 PM: Sen. Gordon gets it: All of the major civil rights victories in the past 100 years came from the legislature, not from referenda. Exactly, letting the majority vote on the rights of the minority is stupid. HOLLA.

3:27 PM: She’s done. She was so great! Love her ending line: “Let these same-sex couples be full participants in society.”

3:25 PM: Here’s a history of this bill from the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

3:23 PM:We cannot abdicate our responsibility. Once we take a state action, that action must be constitutional in its equal protection.” She’s my new favorite person, btw.

3:20 PM: She’s making some pretty compelling arguments about why this is indeed a civil rights issue. Good point: women wouldn’t have the right to vote had legislators not taken a stand. Just because this isn’t a racial injustice doesn’t mean it’s not a civil rights injustice, she says.

3:14 PM: Sen. Nia Gill is up! I remember her from the Judicial Committee hearing. She also just brought up that the “traditional definition of marriage” used to not include interracial marriage.

“There is nothing you can do to tweak the civil union law to change the fact that same-sex couples are denied the benefits of insurance under national insurance policies because we had a separate and unequal system.”

3:07 PM: Sen. Bono sounds like she’s with us? She’s being really vague. OH YES IN FAVOR, GOOD. Thank you, ma’am. Probably not the most effective speech, though, if I couldn’t tell how you were voting until the end.

3:03 PM: Shit, he’s voting no! But we gentrified his neighborhood! This is lame. He’s from the gayest district in Jersey! WTF.

2:59 PM: Sen. Keene says that gay people turn neighborhoods around. We push out the drug dealers, he says. Yeah! The power of the rainbow flag, kids.

2:56 PM: There are a lot of senators talking about how the people of New Jersey should vote on this themselves.

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


  1. how dare that senator get up there and say right off the BAT that he’s from “the gayest district” in new jersey, and then basically go on for five minutes about how he’s opposing the bill because he doesn’t think people who don’t support the bill should be called mean names.

  2. When everyone started clapping I actually started crying. It’s so sad. Someone commented and said “why should the gays ‘win the fight’ while the heterosexuals lose?” I still don’t understand what they’re going to lose.


    • Fake heterosexuals who are basically repressed homos have a lot to lose from gays gaining rights. They already have low self-esteem, but still cling to the belief that their choice of heterosexuality was right because gays are treated like second class citizens. But if gays become “equal” citizens, their “forced” choice of heterosexuality appears dumb. And they lose the little self-esteem they have left, and they can’t afford it. I guess.

  3. the fact that there was not a full roll call vote is frustrating. I think the legislators that are denying rights to others should have the balls to say it out loud so they can hear how ridiculous they sound. That and so NJ equality can target them for ousting.

  4. welp. there goes nothing, NJ. way to throw it in the trash and light it on fire and then cheer. idiots.

  5. I am not excited about this at all. I’m going back to my Fortress of Awesome and taking a nap. Maybe when I wake up, I’ll be better able to cope with all the stupid in the world.

  6. This hurts my heart. Also, I think those puppies are gay. Cute and gay. Just how I like ’em.

    • OMG I saw the cutest puppy the other day- it was white and fluffy and trotted along normally with it’s front legs and then it’s back legs swang back and forth like a pendulum.

      It was so cute I nearly just started following it around town… but I was hungover and walking home to shower (never do a power hour with red wine and never let it go on for an hour and 45 if you do). But yes, I definitely like to think it was an adorable little queer too.

      • Snuggling squirrels – …squggles? – and bcw getting to vent her anger in bubbly, splenetic squirts almost makes this feel a little better.

        New Jersey = Newsy Jeer. This sucks, chaps; sorry to read.

  7. I don’t know what’s sadder, the fact that my little heart is used to this feeling of disappointment or that they fucking CLAPPED. Wake me up when this country does, kthx.

    • You’re so nice, Emily! If there’s one thing I love, it’s watching legislators call me a second-class citizen. So uh, my pleasure.

  8. The same people that clapped are the same people that would clap if slavery was reinstated. “Fuck human rights” is what I head every time they clapped. Its sad, really sad actually, but it just goes to show, it really does take all kinds.

    • New Jersey legislature is on my to do list. See… it says right here: “1) fuck New Jersey”.

  9. I’m going to take a trip to NJ just to have some lesbian sex. I don’t know how it’s going to help, but by God I’m going to do it, and it’s going to make me feel better dammit. Also, bless you Laneia

    • Haaa I love it. But of course you wouldn’t want to rent a hotel to do it, then you are giving them your tax money (aren’t hospitality taxes pretty hefty in most places?). But I’m sure you can figure out other arrangements. :P

  10. What’s up with all of these states lately? Sheesh. Those squirrels make sad, I saw one dead in the road today. It was a sign. Gawd. Clapping asshats. We’ll get there someday… in the meantime, cheers.

  11. When they read out the decision, my brother and I yelled in unison “you lie!”

    This really sucks. It’s disappointing that people clearly defeat bills like this because it’s primarily seen as a super liberal moral agenda rather than a human rights deficiency. Still just makes me want to fight harder for our rights. We clearly aren’t going anywhere or are going to back down EVER.

    going to give my cute dog a big hug and down some Landshark in temporary defeat.

  12. Pingback: New Jersey Gay Marriage - XTS

  13. So now, we have several administrations legally prohibiting its citizens the right to marry. WTF. How much longer are we going to have to put up with this legalized discrimination?

  14. so its not any surprise… but still. it doesnt even bother me as much that it wasn’t passed as all of the stupid, head-ache inducing shit that educated law makers are saying in “defense” of the “family”. i want rights but i really just want people not to hate me for who i am.. and its sad that i even have to want that.

  15. In all reality I guess it really doesn’t matter if New Jersey didn’t pass the bill. Granted it would give the US another state for Gay Marriage but at the federal level, the one that matters, it still isn’t recognized. Means no tax breaks, no health care benefits if on government health care, etc.

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