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High Court Nominee Vows To Recuse Himself On Gay Marriage [AUDIO]

Governor's Office

Governor Chris Christie has made himself abundantly clear; he does not support gay marriage and he would veto such a bill if it reaches his desk.

That’s the primary reason many were surprised when the Governor recently nominated an openly gay man for a spot on the State Supreme Court, but now we know why that wouldn’t matter if the High Court hears a marriage equality case.

Nominee Bruce Harris, who would be the state’s first openly gay Justice wrote to several State Senators asking for their support of a same-sex marriage bill being heard by the Senate in late 2009. The email recently became public and the Governor was asked about it yesterday. Christie, a Republican who supports civil unions but opposes calling it marriage, says Harris volunteered the information to him.

“I did not know about the email,” explains Christie. “What I did know was what we discussed at the time which was that he told me he favored same-sex marriage, had advocated for it in his political capacity and that as a result if he were confirmed to the court that he would recuse himself on that matter because he did not want there to be the appearance of bias on his part on that issue because he had advocated for it in a political context.”

In Lewis v. Harris, the State Supreme Court ruled that civil unions are not the equivalent of marriage. Christie says he doesn’t think the email means Bruce Harris favors the decision in Lewis v. Harris (no relation). The Governor feels the email shows his nominee favors gay marriage and references the case as the law of the state.

Christie says, “I didn’t ask him to see any specific writings that he may have had about it. He told me he advocated for it and then told me that he was recusing on any matter regarding same-sex marriage because of his public statements on same-sex marriage in the past.”

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