Christie: Court’s Decision Inappropriate, Wrong; Promises Veto of Gay Marriage Bill
In the past, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has opposed same-sex marriage. This evening on Townsquare Media's Ask the Governor program he said he still does.
Same-sex couples across New Jersey are celebrating after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that legally married same-sex couples should have the same federal benefits as heterosexual married couples.
The high court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that prevents married gay couples from receiving a range of health, retirement and health benefits that are available to straight married couples.
"I don't think the ruling was appropriate, I think it was wrong," said Christie, "It's typical of the problem we see in the New Jersey Supreme Court. The Court, without a basis in standing, substituted their own judgement for the judgement of a republican Congress and a democratic President [...] It's another example of Judicial supremacy."
Christie Promises Veto, Says People Should Decide
Christie stressed the ruling has no immediate effect on New Jersey, because if another same sex marriage bill is passed, he'll veto it, but he pointed out he's willing to let the people decide the issue.
"You're talking about changing an institution that's 2,000 years old," said Christie. "I don't have anything against people who are homosexual--but I believe the institution of marriage is between a man and a woman."
"However, if the people of New Jersey want to amend our Constitution in order to make same-sex marriage legal they have every right to do it, and the only people who can give them that opportunity is the New Jersey State Legislature...I wouldn't object to it, but they (the democrats) don't want to put it on the ballot, and I don't know why."
After the ruling was issued, lawyers in a New Jersey same-sex marriage case indicated they intend to make a new court filing.
Lambda Legal lawyer Hayley Gorenberg believes the court should recognize that Wednesday's federal ruling changes the landscape in New Jersey.
She is one of the main lawyers in a suit brought by seven gay couples and several of their children who argue that New Jersey's law civil unions law does not comply with a 2006 state Supreme Court ruling that found gay couples were entitled to the same legal protections as married heterosexual couples.
Earlier today, New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver released a statement saying, "Today's ruling is a tremendous victory for equality. I have long said that there is no place for discrimination in our laws or our constitution and this ruling affirms that."
Oliver also said, "DOMA's discrimination went well beyond just the ability for same-sex couples to get married. Today's decision illuminates the layers of discrimination that have been allowed to exist under this federal ban, the roughly one thousand discriminatory and financially-costly practices that have affected every facet of same-sex couples' lives. This is a major step forward and will hopefully serve as a springboard for other states struggling to achieve equality, namely New Jersey."