Two days before the New Jersey Senate votes whether to legalize same-sex marriage, area legislators are remaining tight-lipped about their decisions.
"When you have a lot of 'not sures,' it really means they may have some idea of how they feel about it personally, but there needs to be a political calculation of what the vote means," said Ingrid Reed, director of the New Jersey Project at Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics.
The "Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act" squeaked through the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 7-6 vote Monday after nine hours of testimony and debate. The full Senate will consider the bill Thursday.
"It's an uphill fight, but there is a chance for victory," said sponsor Loretta Weinberg (D., Bergen).
From South Jersey, Democrats Sens. James Beach and Dana Redd of Camden County have not made up their minds, aides said. Democrats Steve Sweeney and Fred Madden of Gloucester County declined to comment, despite repeated phone calls. Republican Sen. Philip Haines of Burlington County opposes the bill.
Republican Diane Allen of Burlington heard arguments over the summer from both sides of the issue but will be unable to vote because of her current battle with aggressive cancer, an aide said.