1. HALFWAY

    N.J. State Senate Approves Gay Marriage

    New Jersey state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, center,  D-Teaneck, N.J., co-sponsor of a bill to legalize gay marriage speaks in Trenton, N.J., Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, with members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, Assemblymen Reed Gusciora, left, D-Trenton, and Gordon M. Johnson, right, D-Englewood, during hearings on legalizing gay marriage. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    Mel Evans / AP Photo

    Proponents of gay marriage have overcome another hurdle. The same day Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a gay-marriage bill into law, the New Jersey State Senate approved a similar measure by a vote of 24–16. Two years ago, the New Jersey Senate defeated a gay-marriage bill 20–14 with a handful of lawmakers abstaining. The State Assembly still must pass the bill, but Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to veto the legislation. Christie said he wants to put the matter to a referendum, but activists say the rights of a minority group shouldn’t be left up to the majority. If Christie does issue a veto, the legislature will have until 2014 to override it with a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

    Read it at Associated Press