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NJ: both candidate for governor oppose marriage amendment

Forrester and Corzine are dodging.

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that both Doug Forrester (R) and Jon Corzine (D) oppose same-sex marriage and won’t say what they would do if the courts ruled that the right to marry extends to gay couples. Do I smell a spineless Dem — AGAIN — punting on gay civil rights? (Newsday):

In a debate Tuesday, gubernatorial candidates Doug Forrester and Jon Corzine found common ground on the issue. Both said they oppose same-sex marriage, but that they would oppose a constitutional amendment banning it.

Their positions could be tested next year, when the state Supreme Court is expected to rule on a lawsuit from several same-sex couples who claim the state Constitution gives them a right to marry. Arguments have not been scheduled in the case and are likely to be heard sometime after the Nov. 8 election.

In the debate, both candidates gave a nuanced and nearly identical view on gay marriage.

From Corzine, a Democrat: “I believe (that) the fundamental and traditional view of marriage is between a man and a woman. On the other hand, I don’t believe constitutions are about taking away rights. That’s why I wouldn’t have supported an amendment in the federal government and I won’t support one in New Jersey.”

From Forrester, a Republican: “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I believe that a constitutional amendment isn’t the right tool to make that defense.”

When pressed for clarifications on Wednesday, the campaigns had little to say.

Lower courts have twice held that gay couples do not have the right to marry in New Jersey, but court-watchers on both sides of the issue think there’s a good chance the state Supreme Court will overturn those rulings.

Wednesday, Corzine spokeswoman Ivette Mendez said she would not answer questions about what Corzine would do in that case, saying they were “hypothetical.” [So, he just has no opinion on the matter? Come the f*ck on.]

Forrester spokeswoman Sherry Sylvester said Forrester believes the gay marriage decision should be made by elected lawmakers, not appointed judges. And if judges allowed same-sex matrimony, she said, he would “take any steps to return the debate to the Legislature, where he believes the decision should be made.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding