UPDATE: Christie Vetoes Gay Marriage Bill

Christie vetoed the bill, as promised, the same day it arrived on his desk.

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 activists 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."

Eric February 19, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Nope it's a free country Max. However it puts into crystal clarity that your objections are not based on law, the real reason is your small minded prejudices and nothing more than that. You try to use a law based argument to hide what is viewed by intelligent people as an extremely narrow world view. I take people as they come, as individuals. Perhaps one day you'll grow up.
Occidentalist February 19, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Whites have been doing a very good job at leading the world in that regard Max. From Reagan's fabricated Welfare Queen to Newt Gingrich's Food Stamp President, whites have been leading by example in regards to racial insults.
derek February 19, 2012 at 04:22 PM
go girl...:)
derek February 19, 2012 at 04:30 PM
@max--white people have been insulting my people since the beginning of time: I am--a homosexual Jew with a black mother....Go for it..nothing you can say will be absorbed by me because everything anyone says is only a window into who they are...and you, Max, are probably someone I never really would get to know. You have every right to say and think how you feel, everyone does. You do it your way, I'll do it mine.
Monk February 19, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Oxy, I have the impression that, for you, nothing has anything more than a fleeting meaning. Everything is in flux. It's what you think at this moment that is meaningful and true.
Maxim Sapozhnikov February 19, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Derek, I couldn't care less for your sexual orientation but you CANNOT be a Jew with a black mother. You're supposed to have a Jewish mother to be a Jew.
Occidentalist February 19, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Actually I'm a data and fact driven person, Tom. I work off of facts and numbers. Universal truths. I don't 'reinterpret' things in order to make them comply with my own feelings. If I'm introduced evidence that counters something I've previously believed, guess what? I don't dismiss the evidence in order to obstinately cling onto my belief. Instead I take the evidence and change my previously held belief which this new evidence has proven wrong or faulty. I think you've actually done a good job describing yourself and others who use a 2,000 year old book as their guide through modern life. Instead of changing your beliefs to comply with new evidence and theories based on observable fact (evolution, genetic explanation of homosexuality), you obstinately cling onto these 2,000 year old beliefs and dismiss all new evidence. It's funny you should say "Everything is in flux" yet consider a 2,000 year old book as true and the best explanation for the world and how things came to be. You're a funny dude!
Maxim Sapozhnikov February 19, 2012 at 04:45 PM
All liberals are gays, all gays are anti-Christian, all anti-Christians are pro-Muslims, and all Muslims anti-American terrorists. How's that for a broad accusation, Accidental Eric?
Concerned February 19, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Derek your post regarding Obama is a bit optimistic. Obama has stated clearly that states should decide the issue of gay marriage. He believes voters should have input at the local level. He and the congress will never nationalize gay marriage. If it happens it will be a decision by the high court that the constitution guarantees the individual rights of gays to marry. The southern democrats will never vote for gay marriage. Political realities.
Eric February 19, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Max, uhh ok. Whatever.
Eric February 19, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Max, a couple of facts to chew on. 1)Judaism is a religion, not a race. 2)You can convert to Judaism. 3) There are black and African Jews 4)You're a bigot
Maxim Sapozhnikov February 19, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Eric, a couple of facts to stuff into your empty head: 1) Judaism is a religon. Being a Jew is a nationality. People now knowing the difference are called "morons". Suck it up. 2) One can, indeed, convert to Judiasm. One cannot become a Jew. People now knowing the difference are called "morons". Suck it up. 3) There are no African Jews outside of Maghrib. There is a Bible-based legend about a Judaic kingdom in Ethiopia but they were converts, not Jews. 4) You're a moron. Sorry for repeating myself. 5) I happen to be a secular Jew with Israeli citizenship. Unlike you, I don't need Google to learn these things.
william ronci February 19, 2012 at 06:03 PM
and that he should veto it ! let the people vote on it ! it time to let the people speak out not the so called legislators.give the vote back to the people. we would all be better off. Bill Ronci
Eric February 19, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Wow, there's a nation of "Jew" now? So if you convert to Judaism, what are you called? Judaic, Judaistical? Well considering your narrow world view, I can understand how you would get so upset with the notion that people might start thinking there a black Jews. You must have popped a blood vessel reading that one. What is Lenny Kravitz? He's not Jewish because his mother is Black? What kind of moronic genetics do you have to make up to come to THAT conclusion? Oh wait, it's some kind of made up rule, not based on science or fact. Where does the religious rule end and the facts begin? Got it, thanks, now I'll leave you to form another bigoted rant boychik.
Eric February 19, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Fair enough, I'm done anyway.
Maxim Sapozhnikov February 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Eric, I have an education in Judaic studies - do you? Free speech allows for ignorance but doesn't excuse it. That "made up rule" you so nonchalantly referred to is what held the Jewish nation together for millenia. Learn some basics, then come back and we'll talk.
Eric February 19, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Nope, I don't need an education in a single religion and a culture from one small part of the world to understand high school biology and basic genetics. I've met and seen Jews who have a wide variety of skin tones, hair and eye colors, I wonder how that happened. Regarding ignorance, I guess you missed the part where I told you that it's a free country. So have at it pal, at least man up and own what your beliefs are and stop hiding it behind some convoluted parsing of the constitution.
Carlos Spicyweiner February 19, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Hey Derek, There is usually a 'marriage penalty' in terms of taxes when couples file as a married. Meaning, that, all else being equal, if you and your partner file as 'married filing jointly', you would pay more in taxes than if both of you were to both file as 'single'. Are you sure your accountant is on the up and up?
Maxim Sapozhnikov February 19, 2012 at 07:18 PM
> Eric: I've met and seen Jews who have a wide variety of skin tones, hair > and eye colors, I wonder how that happened. That's simple. First, the father's nationality doesn't matter, and second, not everyone who believes he or she is a Jew actually is. See, Eric, you are right. This is a free country, and you're entitled to your opinions. You, however, aren't entitled to your own facts. As long as governmental actions and judicial rulings are discussed, there's no right or wrong, only opinions; when factual information is involved, not so much.
Eric February 19, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Exactly, but genes are inherited from both mother and father, so your "mother" rule has no basis in fact. It's a question of a governing (religious or secular, it doesn't matter) body deciding who is what based on an arbitrary rule, not because they are more Jewish by virtue of having more or less non-Jewish ancestors. Basically, as an ethnicity, Jews are as mixed up as the rest of us, but if you want to pretend that someone has purer Jewish blood simply because the Mom instead of Dad was Jewish, well that's your problem, go ahead and ignore scientifically proven facts. I can't fix willful ignorance, so good luck with that.
LivinLocal February 19, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I have no problem with the marriage definition being ‘adjusted’ for political correctness to this century’s current flavor of a generation, gay relationships, provided we include polygamy. :-) If we can move the line for one form of relationship then there should be a ‘civil right’ for equality in all relationships. If we are to describe ‘relationships’ as an individual right with the fundamental freedoms and privileges inclusive of all associated civil liberties, due process, equal protection under the laws, then we need to consider whether there should be any line in the marriage definition - and then in my singular opinion the public should have a say. ‘Adjustments’ are a fact of life, and an individual privilege, but I’m not sure our constitution should be tweaked too much. If so then the faithful should tweak the Qur’an, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Kalama Sutta, etc., to what suits their desires, not the respective teachings. Heck let’s simply abandon our constitutional foundation, and self-destruct like the Roman Empire before us. We are already witnessing the disintegration of our political structure, our economy, the proposed diminishment of our military, so why not our social institutions too?
Maxim Sapozhnikov February 19, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Read some books, Eric, will you?
Eric February 19, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I've read lots of books, have some that you would recommend? Non-fiction please. Perhaps you would to well to crack a few that were published in this century, and are about this country instead. Perhaps something explaining genetics or the civil rights movement. You know, broaden your knowledge a bit, nothing wrong with being proud of who you are, but if that's all you know, you'll continue to have weak, narrow minded arguments with no perspective on the larger picture.
Monk February 19, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Oxy, you should change your "screen name" to "Mr. Spock"! No, actually, Mr. Spock had more intellectual honesty than you. I've tried to educate you concerning the contemporary understanding and interpretation of scripture, to no avail. It appears you are actually more fundamentalist in your atheism than the straw Christianity you criticize. Straw man arguments are pretty low. I am surprised you stoop to them. There is no winning an argument with a person for whom language has all the firmness of jello. There is no losing an argument with such a person either. So, Master of Twisting Words, what sense does it make for the homosexual population to demand the use of the traditionally heterosexual term "marriage"? If it is for tax purposes only, then say so. If it is to fundamentally transform society, then say so. It is most certainly not a civil rights issue. What is the point of this legislative effort?
Hookerman February 19, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Max, you stated that you cannot be a Jew with a black mother because you're supposed to have a Jewish mother to be a Jew. Who says that a black mother can't also be Jewish???
Charlene M. February 19, 2012 at 11:02 PM
I'm too chicken (and tired) to jump in and argue about all this, but wanted to say I applaud Mark Lipinsky for having the guts to jump into the fray even though he's surely been down this road so many times before, including the troll road. I'd be exhausted by now. I think it's great you continue to try and change minds and, FWIW, your post about parenting adopted special needs children in a long term gay relationship - that's a very compelling post. I hope it didn't get lost in all the banter. Good on you for having the energy to continue to argue, educate, respond and persuade.
Maxim Sapozhnikov February 19, 2012 at 11:14 PM
> Perhaps you would to well to crack a few that were published in this > century, and are about this country instead. Trust a crackpot to mention crack anywhere. As for "this country", your attention failed again, a sure sign of drug abuse: we're talking about Jews now, not USA. How about reading Israel's immigration laws? I think they would know more about Jews than you.
Maxim Sapozhnikov February 19, 2012 at 11:20 PM
> Hookerman: Who says that a black mother can't also be Jewish??? She can, in theory. "Black" commonly assumes that both parents are black, unless we talk about Obama, but I think a daughter of a Jewish mother and a black father could also be considered black. She could also be a second-generation convert. Of course, my statement would be wrong if either of those were true. Most likely, however, Derek is half Jewish - good enough for him to consider himself a Jew but not "pure" enough, for example, to obtain Israel's citizenship. Pelase note that all this "science" has nothing to do with religion, only with bloodline.
Ricky February 20, 2012 at 07:15 AM
""we include polygamy....If we can move the line for one form of relationship then there should be a ‘civil right’ for equality in all relationships.""" Will say it again just like before, If you feel there should be a civil right for equality in all relationships including polygamy then contact your state legislator. My point has been that you and others who make an argument that this marriage law if passed would open a pandora's box to further erode society would not have the nerve to contact a legislator to make a fool of yourself because you know this comparison is foolish and has nothing to do with the issue of individuals born with same gender orientation. Do you see where we're going here?
Eric February 20, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Trust a bigot to think there's such a thing as racial purity. Oh the irony!


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