While a quick veto of the state Senate and Assembly approvals of gay marriage in New Jersey by Gov. Chris Christie has shut down its potential legalization for now, the battle continues for those looking to see the law go into effect here.
Nor has it stifled the opinions of those for, and against, the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act, both statewide and locally.
"The common denominator in any marriage is love–not gender, income, race
or anything else," said the Rev. Cynthia Black, of Church of the Redeemer in Morristown. "We're one step closer in New Jersey to having our laws reflect that reality."
The Rev. Allison Miller, of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, in Morris Township, had a similar opinion, saying she was "thrilled and the Unitarian Universalists are thrilled" that the Senate and Assembly had both approved passage of the bill.
"We believe in celebrating couples who love or care for one another," Miller said, noting the Unitarian Universalist's promotion of same-sex marriage had been nothing new.
Both Morristown's Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Virgil's Roman Catholic Parish in Morris Plains did not return calls seeking comment. The Catholic Church has historically been an opponent of legalizing gay marriage.
Peter Mancuso, mayor of Morris Township, said he would not perform same-sex marriage because of his own particular religious beliefs as an active member at the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He said he believes people have the right to do what they want, but he doesn't choose to participate in those ceremonies.
Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty and Morris Plains Mayor Frank Druetzler could not be reached for comment.
Despite the governor's veto and his call for gay marriage go before the voters in a referendum, those in favor of legislative action have not stopped fighting for their cause.
"Frankly, I don’t think Chris Christie has an anti-gay bone in his body, however much I cannot say the same about his impending veto. His veto will be a brutally anti-gay act, pure and simple," Steven Goldstein, head of Garden State Equality, the state's largest gay rights group said on Feb. 17. "For us, this is not about politics. This is about our fundamental American right to conduct our lives with a full life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Equality."