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February 20, 2012

Christie's vow to veto same-sex marriage bill remains true

The Gov says let gay marriage be decided by a vote of the people. (UPI/Mike Theiler)

      Staff Writer

When Governor Chris Christie came to office, he vowed to veto any bill that called for same-sex marriage. On Friday, he kept true to that promise, vetoing the measure that the state senate passed last week.

“I am adhering to what I've said since this bill was first introduced — an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide,” Christie said in a statement. “I continue to encourage the Legislature to trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing our citizens to vote on a question that represents a profoundly significant societal change. This is the only path to amend our State Constitution and the best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state.”

The Democratic Party had been pushing for this bill to be passed, but are not surprised by Christie’s ruling.

“It's unfortunate that the governor would let his own personal ideology infringe on the rights of thousands of New Jerseyans,” said Reed Gusciora, a New Jersey lawmaker who is also openly gay.

Senate President Steve Sweeney was far more critical of the governor.

“[Gov. Christie] had a chance to do the right thing, and failed miserably,” he said.

Advocates for the bill said, “Gay marriage is a civil right being denied to gay couples.” However, opponents have argued the definition of marriage is between two heterosexuals that should not be “expanded.”

Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality - the largest gay rights group in the state- said that Christie’s action was more political than anything.

“He'll veto the bill because the 2016 South Carolina presidential primary electorate is anti-gay,” he said.

Six states and Washington D.C. have adopted same-sex marriages.

To override Christie’s veto, N.J. lawmakers have until the end of the legislative session in January 2014 and need two-thirds of the vote from the assembly and senate.



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