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. "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."
    So, Christie is basically admitting that he understands the flawed Civil Union law - if it requires an ombudsman to explain it, he's proving the point of the need for MARRIAGE equality. And this from the party that espouses less government!

    Posted by: John | Feb 18, 2012 9:14:17 AM

  2. Fat chance that that ambitious, gutless blob would ever have signed that bill.

    Posted by: Esurb | Feb 18, 2012 9:22:44 AM

  3. According to Christie, discrimination is intolerable--unless it is he who is doing it.

    Posted by: sobedoug | Feb 18, 2012 9:56:09 AM

  4. I'm not sure who's more repellent: Christie the evil bigot, or Goldstein the sycophantic bootlicker.

    Posted by: MTiffany | Feb 18, 2012 10:14:32 AM

  5. You know, while I understand the anger and the lashing out here, Christie is not doing anything that Barack Obama has done and is doing by deciding what his actions will be on same-sex marriage according to a political calculation rather than principle.....ditto for Hillary Clinton.

    But I don't see any of you making that connection--gee, I wonder why (especially in the case of highly partisan individuals like Ernie).

    I am sure that if Governor Christie did not have Presidential ambitions, he would either have signed the bill or would have just let it become law without signing it.....which is probably more than we can say for Obama or Hillary.

    Posted by: Rick | Feb 18, 2012 10:30:34 AM

  6. When I look at Chris Christie all I see is a fat, selfish pig.

    Posted by: Oliver | Feb 18, 2012 10:32:03 AM

  7. For years Christie said that the courts should not "decree" gay marriage - that it should happen if at all in the Legislature. We went there. Turns out he was wrong - that really, a referendum should decide. Hmmmm.

    And Steven Goldstein? It reminds me of HRC endorsing Alphonse D'Amato. Is this why I worked all my life for LGBT rights - so that people like this could be our spokespeople?

    Posted by: Ted | Feb 18, 2012 11:58:49 AM

  8. Both sides knew exactly how this would play out. In NJ all political hot potatoes end up in the state supreme court, which is filled up with politicians and not career jurists. Since the justices need to be re-appointed they typically do the heavy lifting of the normally politically impossible (like raising property taxes) to please all the political power brokers in the state. And this issue too will be on their docket again, maybe by September.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 18, 2012 2:05:44 PM

  9. He is gay. Told you so a long time ago...

    Posted by: Malo | Feb 18, 2012 9:11:39 PM

  10. Actually, Rick, most people are aware that Gov. Christie's wholly expected decision to veto the bill was a political calculation. Republicans with oversized ambitions, like Christie (though, frankly, he's too fat of mouth and body to be President), have to be anti-gay to be accepted by their own backwards party. Whether or not he's personally homophobic is beside the point, since his veto was anti-gay.

    As for Obama and Hillary. They aren't governors, so what they would have done is also beside the point. But, in 2012, a northeast liberal Democrat governor would be politically unable to veto a marriage equality bill passed by a Democratic majority. It would be a loser for them. So, no, they, like any other liberal Democratic governor, would have signed it. One more reason why I have no problem being partisan. Majority Democrats pass pro-gay legislation, Majority Republicans do not. Simple as that.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 19, 2012 11:22:43 AM

  11. Apparently we can now DIE for your freedoms, Mr Christie? We just can't HAVE them!

    Nice. We'll get back to you.

    Posted by: David Morgan | Feb 19, 2012 2:35:09 PM

  12. Shame on Chris Christie.

    I see it as a mere lack of leadership skills.

    And if he's as privately decent as I'd like to imagine him, Chris Christie will one day see this decision to cowtow to haters as a glaring eyesore, one thing he will forever regret in his political career.

    Show 'im, Jersey! Show 'im!!!

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Feb 20, 2012 10:41:11 AM

  13. How the people of New Jersey can live looking at Mr. Pig of Lard is beyond me. And then there's his bullying. . . .

    Posted by: Robert Cadalso | Feb 23, 2012 2:26:28 PM

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