The New Jersey State Senate approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in a 24-16 vote today, NJ.com reports.
Sen. Gerry Cardinale (R-Cresskill) spoke out against the bill during today's debate, the NJ.com report says.
"The essential characteristic of a marriage, the very definition of the term, is it involves at least one male and one female,” he is quoted as saying. “Do not break with thousands of years of civilized tradition. This bill opens Pandora’s box.”
"It is amazing that this extremely controversial bill is the top priority of our legislative leadership, while our taxes are the highest in the country and unemployment ravages," Cardinale said in a statement.
A Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows 54 percent of New Jersey voters support same-sex marriage, compared to 35 who don't, Bloomberg.com reports.
"Who are we to say that basic equal rights should be denied to any class of citizen, simply because we’re uncomfortable with the nature of their relationship? The State should not be in the business of legally sanctioning homophobia by conferring separate but equal status to the legal recognition of a union between two people," Weinberg said in remarks released after the vote.
The Assembly will take up the bill Thursday.