Today, just 24 hours after New Jersey passed a same-sex marriage bill, Governor Chris Christie, as promised offered his “swift action” and vetoed the bill. You may have read some of his statement elsewhere, but here is the actual document Christie submitted with his veto.
Astoundingly, Christie even directs the Legislature to change the title of the bill.
“Delete ‘marriage’ insert ‘civil unions,’” Christie directs the Senate, should they still want his signature.
“Neither the United States Constitution nor the New Jersey State Constitution contain a right to same-sex marriage,” Christie writes. “In 2006, in Lewis v. Harris, while holding that there is no fundamental constitutional right to same-sex marriage, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples must be afforded the same rights and benefits that are statutorily given to their heterosexual counterparts. While there is no fundamental constitutional right for individuals of the same sex to marry, same-sex couples now have the rights and benefits enjoyed by, and burdens and obligations borne by, married couples.”
Christie is sadly mistaken. As Governor, he should know better.
He also ignores DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act, that, were it to be repealed, “civil unioned” couples would not be “afforded the same rights and benefits that are statutorily given to their heterosexual counterparts.”
“I have repeatedly encouraged, and continue to ask that, the Legislature trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing our citizens to vote on the question of same-sex marriage,” Christie continues, on the wrong and false assumption that the majority should vote on the civil rights of the minority. But then, Christie did say that African-American civil rights should also have been voted upon.
Clearly, Christie believe that vetoing a bill that the majority of citizens already support is his ticket to the White House in 2016. Unless he’s off to paint his own, there will be no White House in Christie’s future after this.
Christie Marriage Equality Veto Actual
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