NJ Governor Chris Christie Vetoes Marriage Equality Bill

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed a marriage equality bill passed by both houses of the legislature, the AP reports:

ChristieThe Republican governor returned the bill to the Legislature, saying he wants voters to decide whether New Jersey changes the definition of marriage. Democratic lawmakers say it's a civil rights issue that shouldn't be put up for a public vote. Lawmakers have until the end of the January 2014 legislative session to override the veto.

Read the veto document HERE.

Christie said in his veto that he would be creating an Ombudsman to enforce civil unions in the state:

"I include in my conditional veto the creation of a strong Ombudsman for Civil Unions to carry on New Jersey’s strong tradition of tolerance and fairness. The Ombudsman will be charged with increasing awareness of the law regarding civil unions, will provide a clear point of contact for those who have questions or concerns and will be required to report any evidence of the law being violated."

Christie promised earlier this week to take "swift action" to veto the bill if it reached his desk.

A two-thirds vote in each chamber is necessary to override Christie's veto, and can be attempted as many times as necessary until January 2014. A veto override in the House would require 12 more votes, and 3 more votes in the Senate.

GoldsteinGarden State Equality's Steven Goldstein released a statement earlier today, which read, in part:

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.

The Governor keeps calling for a referendum, which everyone knows will never happen in New Jersey.  To borrow the Governor’s words, it’s time for him to stop engaging in political theater.  Our lives are not La Cage Aux Folles:  LGBT people fall in love, raise families, often children whom the rest of society shuns, and pay taxes in what is still one of the most heavily taxed states in the country.

Our Governor knows our contributions to society.  He won’t veto the bill because he’s anti-gay.  He’ll veto the bill because the 2016 South Carolina Republican Presidential primary electorate is anti-gay.  And if I get flooded with letters now from Charleston, so be it.

And that’s what hurts so badly.   I like this Governor and am able to see him beyond the headlines.  When you are rejected by someone you want so badly to love you unconditionally – my own parents have taught me what that’s like – the pain is searing.  Rick Santorum I can live with.  Gerry Cardinale I can live with, too.  But Chris Christie’s rejection?  That hurts.

Governor, rest assured that even though I came of political age in an era where political adversaries could be friends – and if you’re game, we’ll continue that good relationship – Garden State Equality and I will continue to fight you on marriage equality with every bone in our bodies.  You would expect no less.

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.

And until we achieve it, we will fight with our every last breath.  And we will win, so help me God.

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  1. jaragon

    vp for who?

    Mitt the mormon can't have a catholic VP especially a north eastern catholic VP. Any and all catholics for R vp are out, no rubio, no christie, etc

    the southern evangelicals will revolt over a mormon and catholic ticket. romney will have to have a southenr baptist from a southern state

    besides being way too fat to run this cycle. The optics of a fat sweaty christie as vp will destroy whoever is at top of repub ticket

    Posted by: say what | Feb 17, 2012 6:14:11 PM

  2. Steven Goldstein's statement is also a political calculation. It gives Christie (and, by implication, some potential Republican override votes down the line) a benefit of the psychological doubt he may or may not deserve. Frankly, I don't care about the bones of his big-assed body. I care only about his actions, and his actions were wrong and will always be so.

    But, having been through a veto override process in my state, VT, equality groups need to be careful about who they alienate. Or maybe Goldstein actually believes it. In any case, what will matter is the most effective strategy for overriding the veto or getting equality done another way.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 17, 2012 6:19:22 PM

  3. I'm sure Garden State Equality has done good, but what a ridiculous statement for the head of a civil rights group. Same with his praise for Christie's appointment of a man who would sell his rights for a seat on the supreme court.

    To paraphrase, who needs enemies with leaders like that.

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 17, 2012 6:21:00 PM

  4. Raised in Brooklyn, I'm accustomed to the filthy stink of Jersey. It's latest source seems obvious: the CRAVEN bulk of its latest governor. (Gee, anyone remember how his predecessors fared?)
    My grandma cautioned "The Devil lives in Jersey" but I didn't think he'd be their chief executive.

    Posted by: Wavin' Dave | Feb 17, 2012 6:33:33 PM

  5. Steven Goldstein's statement was pathetic and embarrassing, and probably representative of why we have so many abysmal politicians lingering around in the US. Throwing disadvantaged groups under the bus to further one's political career is not okay. These people do not deserve to have apologies made on their behalf.

    Posted by: Scott | Feb 17, 2012 6:34:05 PM

  6. Governor dirt bag
    Rick you want him as president?

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Feb 17, 2012 6:37:33 PM

  7. I wonder how it feels to know history will view you as George Wallace?

    Posted by: ChristopherM | Feb 17, 2012 7:01:32 PM

  8. Unfortunately I think Steve Goldstein has a man crush on Chris Christie.
    He's still looking to gain acceptance from someone he aint gonna get. What he refuses to see is that Christie has used the religion card. His own Roman Catholic Dogma to defend his denial of the civil right to marriage equality.
    Sorry Steve he's not gonna date you but he has you right where he wants you.
    Or were you auditioning for HRC executive director with that?

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Feb 17, 2012 7:08:57 PM

  9. Goldstein's statement is rambling and bizarre.

    Posted by: tcw | Feb 17, 2012 7:09:55 PM

  10. POS

    Posted by: RobWest | Feb 17, 2012 7:19:08 PM

  11. Apparently Garden State Equality is deleted any posts that contain "off-color language or personal attacks, including with regard to appearance". If you want to vent, their Facebook page is not the place to do it apparently.

    Posted by: KP | Feb 17, 2012 7:23:20 PM

  12. It went unreported, but right after Christie vetoed the bill, he immediately left his office for lunch, had a ham sandwich and choked to death. Or we could only hope.

    Posted by: B-rod | Feb 17, 2012 8:43:08 PM

  13. Watching Christie is like watching someone bend backwards until their spine is ready to snap. He's so uncomfortable in his position, and he's desperate to get out of it. He thinks this nonsense of "let the people vote" or this "ombudsman" is a free ticket out, but surely even he can't be that stupid.

    Or can he?

    Posted by: Matt | Feb 17, 2012 8:53:10 PM

  14. Dude, if this is an example of how weand our rights are treated by people "who don't have an anti-gay bone in their body", then we are tatally fu##ed

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 17, 2012 9:18:00 PM

  15. It's a chess match he won't win. Not without a queen. :)

    Posted by: ophu | Feb 17, 2012 9:43:37 PM

  16. Goldstein has worked tirelessly to bring marriage equality to NJ.

    However, it seems he's never met a Governor-dem or rep-whose ass he didn't kiss.

    Steve, we don't need Christie's love; we needed his signature.

    Posted by: h | Feb 17, 2012 9:53:33 PM

  17. http://fablog.ehrensteinland.com/2012/02/17/fait-diver-the-only-christie-that-counts/

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Feb 17, 2012 10:06:36 PM

  18. We knew this was coming. He announced he would do it. Now is the time for true activism. Name-calling and blame-laying will do no good. Write to your representatives. Demonstrate. Show your pride and continue to change people's minds. Progress is slow and often painful. Don't make it worse by behaving badly.

    Posted by: Brian | Feb 17, 2012 10:22:36 PM

  19. For years, I've been feeling the effects of outrage fatigue. Seven years in the political trenches reporting on right wingnuttery will take its toll, which is why many bloggers don't last as long as I have. But tonight I saw a tweet from GOProud that made my blood boil and I was forced to write quite possibly the filthiest, nastiest, angriest post I've ever written in seven plus years. Absolutely not kid or work safe.


    Posted by: jurassicpork | Feb 17, 2012 11:41:36 PM

  20. JURASSICPORK - "Outrage fatigue": YES! Perfect description. As for your rant on your blog: You GO, friend!

    Posted by: TJ | Feb 18, 2012 1:20:39 AM

  21. @ jurassicpork. Mister youve said a mouthful in your blog. Most of it Ive believed for a long time. Some of it is hyperbole. just some.

    I think, as ive said before, that the log cabins are white guys of a very certain age who are in love with the eighties. and the eighties was all about a gay backlash. and we couldnt fight back then because we were battling our own demons....AIDS.

    Now we dont have that distraction and I believe that us mo's are fighting mad. Let me tell you one thing, peeps I think that our time has come. The Dems need to keep on subject....the economy

    We will win this if we can just hold on and get Obama and as many other Democrats elected as we can.

    Posted by: stevenelliot | Feb 18, 2012 1:27:31 AM

  22. how are GOProud and Uncle Tom's Log Cabin Republicans gonna spin this?


    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 18, 2012 1:51:01 AM

  23. Not very surprised that Chris Christie decided to do this..

    Posted by: Amanda Jackson | Feb 18, 2012 4:26:54 AM

  24. Steve, he was never ur friend

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Feb 18, 2012 8:41:19 AM

  25. How's this for a scenario? If the repeal referendum in Washington doesn't pass, and if marriage equality passes as the law in Maine (on the ballot in 2012), would enough lawmakers in NJ be able to see which way the tide is turning and change their vote? Apparently the legislature has until Jan 2014 to override the Governor's veto.

    Posted by: Dev | Feb 18, 2012 8:56:04 AM

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