New Jersey openly gay Assemblyman Reed Gusciora has always been the last person to advocate bringing civil rights to a vote. The Democratic lawmakerspearheaded a marriage equality bill in the New Jersey legislature earlier this year that passed but which GOP Gov. Chris Christie vetoed while urging activists to have it voted on by the people of New Jersey. When Gusciora criticized that approach, and lambasted Christie for controversially suggesting the issue of civil rights should have been put up for a vote in the South in the 1960s, Christie famously called him a “numbnuts.”
But now, frustrated that the Democratic leadership in the state legislature has not
scheduled a veto override vote, as promised, and emboldened by polls that show a majority of New Jersey voters support marriage equality, Gusciora believes New Jersey voters should vote on the issue. And, confident after wins in Maine, Maryland and Washington state on marriage equality at the ballot, he has introduced a bill to put it on the ballot.
“I was actually one of the advocates who thought that should be [a tactic ] of last resort,” he said. “I am the last person to advocate that, but nonetheless we’re at a standstill. ”