Rather than addressing the issue legislatively, Governor Chris Christie (R) suggested putting gay marriage to a public vote. While defending his proposal, he made a comment that has him defending himself again.

The Governor linked his referendum plan to the civil rights movement of decades ago.

"I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets of the South," said Christie last week.

The comment prompted gay Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D) to compare Christie to segregationist Governors George Wallace and Lester Maddox.

Christie replied to Gusciora's comments Monday, saying they are reprehensible and "really a joke."

 

"People in this state who have heard me talk about urban education, heard me talk about crime, heard me talk about what I want to do regarding drug rehabilitation for non-violent drug offenders…It's really shameful that the Democrats have decided, in a desperate attempt to get some political traction, to raise this issue. It's really lousy," Christie continued.

The Governor said his initial comment simply meant civil rights activists did not have the option to have their issues go to the ballot, as they would not have even had a chance for approval.

Still, gay marriage advocates attacked Christie Monday for his stance on gay marriage.

Georgia Congressman John Lewis (D) was the featured guest at a Trenton Transit Center press conference. Lewis has been called "one of the most courageous persons the civil rights movement ever produced."

Lewis exclaimed, "If two men want to fall in love and get married, or two women, it's their business. It's not the role of the federal government or the state government to intervene."

New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt (D) expressed his confidence marriage equality will one day become law in New Jersey.

Video by Dino Flammia