N.J. legislaton on same-sex marriages will wait until ’14

A bill that would have made gay marriage a law in New Jersey will not come up for a vote in the remaining few weeks of the current legislative session.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said she pulled the bill from consideration after the Lambda Legal gay rights group said it did not want religious exemptions included in the legislation.

“We have a very strong court decision. We don’t want to do anything that will diminish that protection afforded to gay couples,” Weinberg said Monday.

A measure to make marriage equality the law probably will be considered in the next session, Sen. Ray Lesniak said.

“Once we get all the legal opinions on the same page, I’m sure we’ll be doing something in the future,” said Lesniak, D-Union.

Weinberg, D-Bergen, concurred with the need for legislative action on unresolved marriage-equality issues.

“We can’t keep some special civil union status that only gay couples have access to and not straight couples,” she said. “We need to deal with out of state marriage, and we need to deal with what religious exemptions should or should not be included.”

A law would prevent the protections granted by the court decision from being overturned in the future.

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