New Jersey's state Senate passed a gay marriage bill today, but by a margin too slim to overturn the governor's expected veto, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports. Senators voted 24-16, with two Republicans in favor. "We have some among us who are separate and not equal," said one pro-gay-marriage Republican, Sen. Jennifer Beck. An audience dressed in blue broke out in applause at the bill's passage, and Democratic Sen. Ray Lesniak thrusted an arm in the air, saying, "Yes!"
Only one senator, Republican Gerald Cardinale, spoke against the bill during a debate that lasted under an hour. “Do not break with thousands of years of civilized tradition," he said. "This bill opens Pandora’s box.” Gov. Chris Christie opposes the bill and wants to place the issue on the November ballot, but Democrats say civil rights aren't up for popular vote. "We should not be in the business of legally sanctioning homophobia," said Sen. Loretta Weinberg.