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New Jersey Gov. Vetoes Bill Legalizing Gay Marriage

Rosa Trieu |
February 17, 2012 | 3:58 p.m. PST

Executive Producer


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. (Creative Commons)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. (Creative Commons)

Gov. Chris Christie quickly issued a “conditional veto” allowing same-sex marriage in New Jersey Friday and is renewing his call for a ballet question, letting voters decide on the issue.

Christie, a Republican who is against same-sex marriages, had vowed to take “very swift action” once the bill reached his desk.

“I am adhering to what I’ve said since this bill was first introduced—an issue of this magnitude and importance and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide,” Christie said in a prepared 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 social 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.”

TIME said that Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s largest gay rights group, said in a statement that Christie would veto the bill for his own national political ambitions.

“He won’t veto the bill because he’s anti-gay,” Goldstein said in a statement. “He’ll veto the bill because the 2016 South Carolina presidential primary electorate is anti-gay.”

In the statement, Goldstein said he liked the governor personally, “even though I agree with him on almost nothing."

"...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," said Goldstein.

According to CNN, other gay rights groups expected Christie's veto and have pledged to override it.

"By vetoing the bill that would ensure that all loving, committed New Jersey couples and their families can share in the freedom to marry, with all its protections and meaning, Governor Christie planted his feet firmly on the wrong side of history," said Evan Wolfston, president of the group Freedom to Marry, which had lobbied in favor of the bill.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the state Assembly had voted in favor of the measure after the Senate had previously approved it:

“Seven of the 50 U.S. states already recognize gay marriage -
New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire,
Iowa and Washington state - as does Washington, D.C.”

New Jersey would have been the seventh state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage.

Follow Executive Producer Rosa Trieu on Twitter.



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