The battle over gay rights will move to New Jersey and the federal government, advocates said, after Tuesday's narrow rejection of same-sex marriage by Maine voters in a hard-fought contest.
ENDA UPDATE: See final paragraph below for Senate status on Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Click for interactive map documenting status of same-sex 'marriage' in each state.
-- From "Gay-Marriage Fight Heads to New Jersey" by Keith J. Winstein, The Wall Street Journal 11/7/09
The Democrat-controlled legislature in New Jersey, which currently recognizes same-sex couples in civil unions, is under pressure to pass a bill authorizing gay marriage before Gov. Jon Corzine ends his term in mid-January.
Mr. Corzine, a Democrat unseated in Tuesday's election, said he would sign such a bill. His successor, Republican Chris Christie, opposes same-sex marriages.
Gay-marriage advocates have resisted "civil union" licenses, saying the separate term is demeaning and the status isn't honored by many employers.
Some gay-rights advocates said, their priorities have shifted away from the ballot box and toward nonmarital issues.
Thursday, a U.S. Senate committee held a hearing on a bill that would prevent businesses from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or "gender-related" mannerisms. Thomas Perez, an assistant attorney general, called the bill, known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, "a top legislative priority for the Obama administration."
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