The state Assembly will not hold hearings on New Jersey's same-sex marriage bill, likely ending the proposal's chances of becoming law.
Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr. (D., Camden) released a statement this afternoon saying the Assembly would not vote on the bill unless it first passed the Senate. But the measure recently stalled in the Senate after supporters could not secure the 21 votes needed for passage.
Sponsors had hoped to rebuild momentum with an Assembly committee vote, but Roberts essentially ruled out that possibility.
"I believe ample opportunity has already been given for all views to be heard and additional Assembly committee debate is not needed," Roberts said in a statement, noting that a Senate committee took more than seven hours of testimony on the proposal this month.
"I've advised the Senate sponsors that, if the bill is passed by the Senate, I am prepared to bring the bill directly to the Assembly floor for a vote before the end of this legislative session."
The bill is short on votes in the Senate, and it appears unlikely that enough lawmakers can be convinced to change their minds to move the bill, cutting off any more avenues for advancement.