Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat, said he does not believe issues of constitutional rights should be put to a popular vote, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported. But he said his constituents support a state-wide vote.
"I am the last person who believes civil rights should be on the ballot, but civil rights delayed is civil rights denied," Gusciora said. "The timing is right. There is broader acceptance."
Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington State approved gay marriage in November, ending a long string of defeats. In Minnesota, voters rejected an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex unions.
Gusciora said he modeled the referendum on the one in Maine. He said he expects Republican Gov. Chris Christie, an opponent of gay marriage, to sign it if the resolution passes the Senate and Assembly because Christie believes the issue should be up to the voters.