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As Promised, Gov. Christie Vetoes Same Sex Marriage Bill

Governor argues issue should be decided by voters in a referendum.

Governor Christie conditionally vetoed the gay marriage bill Friday afternoon, delivering on his promise of "swift action" against the measure, which passed in both houses of the Legislature this week. 

Christie's veto came a day after the state Assembly passed the bill legalizing same-sex marriages by a 42-33 vote.

The governor, an opponent of gay marriage, had promised "very swift action" if the bill passed in both houses. The Senate approved the bill Monday in a 24-16 vote.

In a prepared statement Friday, the governor said the best approach would be to strengthen the state's current civil union law and suggested appointing an ombudsman to handle discrimination complaints from gay couples.

"I have been just as adamant that same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples — as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits,’’ Christie said in the statement.

He also reiterated his stance on the issue, saying he thought gay marriage should be put to a popular vote on the November ballot.

"Today, I am adhering to what I’ve said since this bill was first introduced – an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide," he said.

While most Republicans have taken the same stance, the Senate passed the bill on Monday with help from Republicans Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) and Diane Allen (R-Burlington), who crossed the aisle, securing a wider margin.

Most Democrats say gay marriage should not be subject to a referendum because it is a civil right protected by the Constitution.

But Christie has repeatedly dismissed that notion.

"I continue to encourage the Legislature to trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing our citizens to vote on a question that represents a profoundly significant societal change," he said.

"This is the only path to amend our State Constitution and the best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state."

Gay rights advocates said Thursday that an override campaign had already begun. Legislators have until Jan. 14, 2014 to override the veto, which would need several Republican votes in each house.

Steven Goldstein, head of Garden State Equality, the state's largest gay rights group, issued an impassioned statement Friday, saying that while the governor's veto was not surprising, it was personally hurtful.

"Frankly, I don’t think Chris Christie has an anti-gay bone in his body, however much I cannot say the same about his impending veto. His veto will be a brutally anti-gay act, pure and simple," Goldstein said.

He continued: "For us, this is not about politics. This is about our fundamental American right to conduct our lives with a full life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Equality."

The bill, titled the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act, would effectively eliminate the civil unions that have been in place since 2007, and define marriage as the legally recognized union of two consenting people in a committed relationship.

The legislation was sponsored by Assembly Democratic lawmakers Reed Gusciora, Speaker Sheila Oliver, Connie Wagner, Mila Jasey, John McKeon, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Jason O’Donnell, Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski and Timothy Eustace.

Currently, gay marriage is recognized in six states and Washington, D.C. Washington State's new gay marriage law is scheduled to take effect in June.

Gay rights advocates argue that the state's civil union law has not adequately protected same-sex couples from discrimination. The New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission found that numerous hospitals around the state denied visitation and medical decision rights to civil union partners and several gay couples have filed lawsuits. 

Included in the governor's conditional veto is a call for an Ombudsman for Civil Unions, who would be charged with raising awareness of the law regarding civil unions and providing "a clear point of contact for those who have questions or concerns and will be required to report any evidence of the law being violated."

David Smith March 03, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Here is Joe's only argument. Argumentum ad nauseam.
Hearme March 03, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I love when irrational people have no facts to argue so they go to name calling or irrational statements. Joe I am still waiting to know the answers to my questions from my earlier post. If you seem to think it appropriate to dictate other peoples sex lives I feel you should have to answer to the same. That is of course assuming you actually ever had a sex life.You did say you had children so I will assume it wasn't immaculate conception. OR MAYBE I shouldn't assume that.After all it does sound like you think you are god and can dictate to the rest of the world as to how they should live. I would also love to know why you feel that African people should not be part of the HIV/AID's discussion. Last I checked they are part of the human race weather or not they "play with VooDoo dolls" as you put it. I don't see how that would have anything to do with HIV/AID's unless you believe the dolls are transmitting the virus. That would be a new theory that the scientific community would love to hear I'm sure. OH wait, you don't believe much in science do you? Science is all a big conspiracy to indoctrinate you to OUR way of thinking, right?
Patrick March 03, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Joe, I'm sorry. But... You are either learning disabled with a comprehension problem, or a moron. I have a difficult time even understanding what you write, and maybe its the language barrier, do you speak Spanish, but this is a circular conversation I just can't handle any longer. I just can't explain it to you any longer... I understand your side of the argument better then you do... sooo
David Smith March 03, 2012 at 10:44 PM
@ Joe, Seriously the slippery slope fallacy is your only argument against marriage equality? Still looking for you to be a man.
Patrick March 03, 2012 at 10:48 PM
She was curious why I was laughing at my computer (you) and I explained what you where saying.... actually reading your words verbatim and she responded with "oxygen thief". But she is a very smart women, and she is now getting upset that I am wasting my time here... I explained its like staring at a car wreck (you) of personal debasement.
David Smith March 03, 2012 at 10:51 PM
@ Patrick, Joe has been trying to get by on the slippery slope fallacy but I slapped him down. I am waiting for him to say the education link I sent him is another left wing liberal conspiracy.
David Smith March 03, 2012 at 10:56 PM
@Hearme, Joe is just like a little child trying to get the last word in an argument so he can continue his delusion of superiority. If you have noticed he seems to think he is more intelligent than everyone on the board despite his lack of debate skills, knowledge, critical thinking skills, or facts. Ah well here is hoping better of the next generation in his family.
Pete The Piney March 03, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Someone please explain why the Patch hasn't closed comments on this story already? It has degraded into nothing but derisive, childish comments back and forth.
David Smith March 03, 2012 at 11:09 PM
A slippery slope argument states that a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant effect, much like an object given a small push over the edge of a slope sliding all the way to the bottom.[1] The strength of such an argument depends on the warrant, i.e. whether or not one can demonstrate a process which leads to the significant effect. The fallacious sense of "slippery slope" is often used synonymously with continuum fallacy, in that it ignores the possibility of middle ground and assumes a discrete transition from category A to category B. Modern usage avoids the fallacy by acknowledging the possibility of this middle ground.
Hearme March 03, 2012 at 11:17 PM
David , You are correct. I have come across him before. There are a few of them on here. I don't understand why if you don't understand or approve of someones lifestyle you just can't say "To each his own." . I have had many gay/lesbian/bi friends in my life, as have my children. They have never tried to "convert us" lol I don't ask about their sex life they don't ask about mine. Unless we are having a sexual discussion or I happen to go out with with them and their partner it just doesn't get discussed. I always wonder why so many people are so threatened by someones sexuality, race, religion, etc. if it doesn't effect them. Why do people like Joe think just because someone prefers a same sex partner that it would make that person a sexual predator? It just doesn't work that way. Hey Joe, here is something that will really annoy the hell out of you. I think prostitution should be legal as well. I don't see why you can have sex with someone for free and it's fine but you charge them and its a crime.It would probably even lower your taxes buddy so I'm just looking out for you. lol And I do think as long as it is between consenting ADULTS and ALL PARTNERS are agreed in the relationship,you should be allowed to marry as many people as you want as long as it doesn't effect anyone but the people involved in the relationship. I also love that I can live with someone have as much sex as I want to and chose not to get married as well. OMG, I think Joe just passed out!
David Smith March 03, 2012 at 11:51 PM
@Hearme, The funny thing is when asked directly all those questions you posed they never have a answer that doesn't basically boil down to "because I said so". No facts, no logic, no compassion, no understanding, no empathy. It's rather pathetic to know we continue to have people like this in our society.
Hearme March 04, 2012 at 12:10 AM
David I look at my children and their friends and believe there is hope for this world. I know there are many who choose to hold onto their ignorance but I hope with each generation it gets better. We can only hope that those in hearing range of Joe's voice and those like him see him for what he is and use their better judgment and just feel sorry for him but don't take his rantings to seriously.
David Smith March 04, 2012 at 12:34 AM
@ Gentile, I just love how people throw around the word sanctity. You have to be kidding, a 50% divorce rate shows exactly what the heterosexual community thinks of the sanctity of marriage. Guess you would prefer to ignore those facts. Moreover, I do so enjoy people saying it is not a civil right when they at any time can go down file the paperwork and get married in a civil ceremony or a church ceremony. I also find it interesting that they ignore the fact that many churches around the country have no issue marrying same sex couples. So Anna perhaps the next time you make such an uninformed and ignorance latent comment you might want to consider a few of these FACTS. Furthermore, if you are going to argue that marriage isn't a civil right your should read Loving v Virginia. it may help to remove some of that film over your eyes. I suggest you start policing your own heterosexual house before you make judgement on others.
Can't handle the truth March 04, 2012 at 12:37 AM
@ David Smith. same sex marriage is an abomination its disgusting. and it doesn't matter how many heterosexual divorces there are. its not Normal !!!!!! its natural.you need the opposite sex to create a life don't U???? if we were all gay there would only be 2 people on this earth. you get your facts straight.will ya. and its not a RIGHT. civil union.
Hearme March 04, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Joe, I stated that seniors are the fastest going group of people being infected with STD's. I never said they have a higher incidence of HIV or AIDS. At least as of yet. I don't think I need that statistics course, but you might want a refresher course in reading comprehension. I understand they have adult education classes locally if you need to find them just let us know and I will post a link for you. A link is something you can click on with your cursor (The little thing that blinks on your computer screen.) and your computer will have a new page pop up right in front of your eyes. If that is to difficult for you I can make it a bit more simple if needed.
Hearme March 04, 2012 at 01:34 AM
The slippery slope thing is so funny. I can't imagine how his mind works but I bet it would be a great horror movie. Joe, if you were "Allowed to marry more than one women" (And women would be allowed to marry more than one man.) I don't think you would need to worry. I would be shocked to find that you could find that many women that would marry a man as closed minded as you and so against her having any rights. Lets see that slippery slop has to include drugs, prostitution, multiple partners. bestiality, abortions, birth control, women going to school and being allowed to vote. OMG we already allow some of this! That's that slippery slope you were talking about. First they allowed women to vote and walk beside their husbands and then birth control and even allowed them to have jobs. I just knew this would lead to this slippery slope I'm telling you that bestiality and women holding positions in government are next! We can't have that OMG THE INHUMANITY OF IT ALL!!!!
Hearme March 04, 2012 at 02:11 AM
So you believe this is about staying true to your God. Did it ever cross your mind that we don't all believe what you do and shouldn't have too? I will ask you what I have asked the others who used your argument. Have you ever had sex for any purpose other than trying to have children? Have you ever looked and/or lusted after anyone other than your spouse? Have you ever masturbated? Looked at porn? Used any form of birth control?Have you had sex outside your marriage?Have you ever gambled and that includes Bingo and AC or Las Vegas? Have you been divorced? Remarried?Ever have anal sex? You should have to answer all these questions publicly. You seem to be so interested in other peoples sex lives and life styles so I guess you have no problem putting yours out there. Do unto others? An eye for an eye? Stay out of people lives and bedrooms included!This should have nothing to do with your church even if there is a God it isn't you and who the hell do you think you are to judge people that don't live and believe as you do. According to your religion, wouldn't that be gods job? I thought god was supposed to be all forgiving and all loving. I don't remember an exception to the word ALL.
Joe March 04, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Patrick I don't get something, I have now given into to the rights to marry,but you won''t let me marry 2 women, I have agreed with you on Scalia's position but you won't agree that what he is saying is the same as me! Why are you frustrated?
Joe March 04, 2012 at 02:23 AM
hey herpes if 2 seniors have aids and give to 2 others that's 100% increase or is math too hard for you? So if 20,000 homosexuals have it and 100 get it what increase is that? Not 100%! so of course we can have an vast increase in seniors without claiming that there is an epidemic! you simply cannot be that stupid!
Joe March 04, 2012 at 02:28 AM
wow, hermes , name calling? that's all u have done with every post, is that your MO? just assault the opposition and then tell your children how wonderful your r?
Joe March 04, 2012 at 02:31 AM
hip hip hooray! Patrick did not find marriage in the Constitution! WOW! Did u have to read it 2x? IT's not there, our laws are founded on CHRISTIANITY, not Buddhism, not Islam especially thank God on Islam or we and especially hermes would not even be allowed on the computer! You don't like it, change it but if you change the sanctity of marriage then you throw all doors wide open. you ok with that? me too!
Patrick March 04, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Joe go ahead and marry 5 wives. I really couldn't care less. The law may think differently.
David Smith March 04, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law. -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814,
David Smith March 04, 2012 at 02:38 AM
... the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced or knew that such a character existed. -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Major John Cartwright, June 5, 1824
David Smith March 04, 2012 at 02:39 AM
The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, to Jeremiah Moor, 1800
David Smith March 04, 2012 at 02:40 AM
If] the nature of ... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope. -- Thomas Jefferson, to Pierrepont, Edwards, July 1801,
David Smith March 04, 2012 at 02:41 AM
I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another. -- Thomas Jefferson, to Elbridge Gerry, 1799
David Smith March 04, 2012 at 02:42 AM
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. -- Thomas Jefferson, to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813
David Smith March 04, 2012 at 02:44 AM
“The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion” George Washington quote
David Smith March 04, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Actually Joe you lost and you are not a man of your word. You're really the one who can go off into the corner and pout. Where is that apology you promised the board?

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