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Conservative Coalition Presses For Gay Marriage Referendum in N.J.

By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Opponents of gay marriage in New Jersey are banding together in hopes of reviving an idea to put the question to voters in the form of a constitutional amendment.

Several conservative groups are now coming under the banner of the “New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage.”

Donald Sico, who represents the New Jersey Catholic Conference (top photo), says the new group wants to get away from the usual finger-pointing rhetoric.

“Let’s have a conversation, a dialogue, a debate,” he said today.  “And let’s let it be a civil discourse.”

The group hopes such a discourse leads to a ballot question on the definition of marriage.

Governor Chris Christie and legislative Democrats have been at odds over how to deal with the question — Christie wanting to do so by ballot, the legislature by an approved and vetoed bill.

Meanwhile, a judge who ordered an end to the ban on gay marriage in the state (see previous story) is considering whether to put that on hold while the state appeals.   Without a stay, gay marriage becomes legal here on October 21st.

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