I Thee Dread

Gay Marriage Battle Shifts to NJ

As if being caught between the Phillies and the Yankees weren't enough, New Jersey now has another battle to look forward to: gay marriage. After the issue went down in defeat in Maine Tuesday, activists on both sides are eyeing the state as the next battleground in the fight over same-sex matrimony as the Democrat-majority legislature is pressured to legalize gay marriage before Republican Chris Christie—who opposes the idea—replaces Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. New Jersey already recognizes same-sex civil unions, but activists remain unsatisfied with the separate term. Maggie Gallagher, president of prominent anti-gay marriage group the National Organization for Marriage, says, "New Jersey is at the very top of our list," (though some gay-rights advocates have indicated their focus is shifting to other issues, like the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban gender- or sexuality-based discrimination at work). Gallagher also said her group will back anti-gay marriage candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire, two states that recently recognized same-sex marriages. Leslie Gabel-Brett of the gay-rights organization Lambda Legal said that while Maine felt like a setback, "We now have five states where same-sex couples can marry. Six years ago, we had none."