Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, blasted the decision as “inappropriate” and “wrong.”
Gov. Christie, who vetoed a same-sex marriage bill in New Jersey in February 2012, argued that the Court’s strike-down of a crucial part of DOMA – a section that prohibited same-sex married couples from receiving the same federal benefits and recognition as heterosexual married couples – was an example of “judicial supremacy.”
The governor accused the justices of substituting “their own judgment of a Republican Congress and a Democratic president.” He added that “Justice Kennedy’s opinion was, in many respects, incredibly insulting to those people, 340-some members of Congress who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, and Bill Clinton.”
Christie, who is widely considered to be a top contender for the Republican nomination in 2016, affirmed that he believes gay marriage is a state-level issue, and states should “let people decide.”
The governor maintained, “If the people of New Jersey – as some of the same-sex marriage advocates suggest the polls indicate – are in favor of it, then my position would not be the winning position,” and added that he is willing to be “governed” on his personal view of same-sex marriage. On this, Governor Christie said, “You’re talking about changing an institution over 2,000 years old. …I’ve made it very clear since 2009 that I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. I’ve said that, I ran on that, I’ve said it consistently.”
Despite Christie’s ideological views on the institution of marriage, a majority of his constituents support same-sex marriage — which is not a surprise in deep-blue New Jersey.
An April Rutgers-Eagleton poll revealed that 62 percent of the 800 adults surveyed said they are in favor of same-sex marriage. Similarly, a more recent Rutgers-Eagleton poll conducted from June 3 to June 9 found that 59 percent of the 888 adults surveyed said they would vote for same-sex marriage if they could, and only 30 percent said they would oppose it.
There is still no telling if New Jersey voters will see the issue on a ballot anytime soon. Until then, many of the state’s same-sex couples are heading to neighboring New York to get hitched.
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