Statehouse waits for budget as gay wedding bells can be heard

We're hunkered down here in the Statehouse now, waiting for the Democratic Legislature to send Gov. Christie a budget that he is expected to mark up, big-time, with his line-item veto pen (the pen, I imagine, is thick and red).

A budget is due in 32 hours, so we might be here for a while. For more details - and some interesting comments about whether the gov chats with South Jersey power broker George Norcross about legislation - check out today's story here.

Meanwhile, another fight is looming. Fresh off their victory securing same-sex marriage in New York, gay rights advocates announced today that they are suing the state because the New Jersey civil unions law does not provide the same rights as marriage.

In 2010, New Jersey lawmakers voted down a marriage bill, but times appear to have changed. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) has since said that not voting for that bill was the "biggest mistake of my legislative career."

But Christie, true to his socially conservative principles, is not on board. Last night on 101.5 FM, he said he favored strengthening the civil unions law, but marriage should be reserved for heterosexuals.