October 21st, 2013
10:19 AM ET
1 year ago

Christie drops challenge to same-sex marriages

Updated 10/21/2013 at 3:54 p.m. ET

(CNN) - New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie is dropping a legal challenge to a court ruling abolishing the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

"Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law," Christie's office said Monday morning in a statement.

"The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his Administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court."

Friday, the New Jersey Supreme Court declined to temporarily block a lower court ruling knocking down the state's same-sex marriage ban. The state's highest court had been scheduled to hear further arguments in January. With that case dropped, same-sex weddings in New Jersey became legal starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Christie has long said he opposes weddings for gay and lesbian couples. In his first reelection debate earlier this month, he called for a state referendum to decide the issue, although the governor said he would accept legalized same-sex marriages were a majority of Garden State voters to approve it.

In the second debate against state Sen. Barbara Buono, the Democratic challenger, Christie said that if his children came out as gay, he would still love them but his views on same-sex marriage would remain unchanged.

In a Quinnipiac poll earlier this month, New Jerseyans said they preferred Christie drop the challenge by a nearly two-to-one margin. A slight plurality of Republican voters said Christie should continue to pursue the challenge, 49% to 42%.

Christie’s decision to drop the legal challenge comes two weeks before he will face Buono at the ballots. Favored to win reelection by double digit margins in public opinion polls, Christie has worked hard to present himself as a political moderate in a blue-state race widely considered to be a test-run for a possible 2016 presidential bid.

Buono released a statement describing Christie's views as "bigoted. "

"Despite Governor Christie's efforts to block the rights of gays and lesbians at every turn, it took a determined effort by brave individuals and a unanimous decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court to force the Governor to drop his appeal," she said. "I am thrilled the court ended his ability to enforce his bigoted views that are contrary to the values of our state."

The conservative-values organization Family Research Council released a statement Monday expressing "disappointment" with Christie's decision not to pursue the case.

"We are glad that Gov. Christie vetoed the legislature's attempt to redefine marriage, and that he was initially willing to defend the state's marriage law in court," Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg said in the statement.

"However, conservatives are looking for leaders who will sustain their commitment to unchanging principles. Combined with his signing of a radical bill to outlaw even voluntary sexual orientation change efforts with minors, today's action has given conservatives serious pause about Gov. Christie's reliability."

Gay and lesbian couples in New Jersey started getting married 12:01 a.m. Monday, the moment the lower court's ruling went into effect.

The decision was based in large part on the summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that prohibited discrimination against same-sex couples. In her decision, the New Jersey judge argued that the state's continuing allowance only of civil unions for gay and lesbian couples was discriminatory.

Among those granting the early-morning marriages was Democratic Senator-elect Cory Booker, the Newark, New Jersey mayor who overwhelmingly won his bid last week to fill out the remainder of the term of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died in June.

New Jersey's Assembly Speaker, Democrat Sheila Oliver, who had urged Christie to drop his fight, praised the governor's decision in a statement Monday.

"This will long be remembered as a great day for equality in New Jersey," Oliver said.


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    Does he realize the seriousness of the Words "We ought to Obey God rather than Men" (Acts 5: 29)
    --------------------
    Do you even realzie the truer, deeper meaning of the words? You should obey The Word, all of it, including the part about not judging others, and letting God judge the others Himself. By condemning gays, you are disobeying The Word. God reserves judgement for Himself.

    October 21, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. newway2013

    To TheObserver,

    You're full of hate and are very judgmental. I would apologize, not because I'm tell'n you too, but because it's the right thing to do...Didn't your legal guardians teach you anything? Oh wait, you should have figured this out on your own. Because your WAY too good to have a guardian tell you how you should "think". You're too good for that.

    So you see, when you're stuck on your own, and self taught, you come across as an ignorant,childish, dolt.

    October 21, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. skarphace

    anonymous: "Being gay is a genetic abnormality just as being albino is a genetic abnormality. Do not expect society to rewrite all of its laws and traditions to suit your genetic abnormality."

    So you are saying that albinos should not be able to get married?

    October 21, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Peter

    Are all, or most Christians against gay marriage? Probably not, I am a Christian and I am for letting people do what makes them happy as long as they don't hurt anyone. However, as long as the Bible is referenced as a reason against gay marriages, the Christians will continue to be the ones perceived as being ant-gay. As for Governor Christie, he is a fair man, possibly the only Republican capable of being a politician and caring for all people at the same time.

    October 21, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Flushed out by the process of evolution. You know, the process liberals and atheists believe in unconditionally. Gay couples would simply not reproduce and their numbers would gradually decline over the ages.
    -------------------------------------------------
    I understand now. Thank you anonymous.
    And Fair is Fair as such my apologies.

    October 21, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Peter

    skarphace, I don't have as much time to read and comment on these postings as you appear to, but I am glad that you are doing such a good job setting these inconsiderate dregs of society straight (no pun intended...).

    October 21, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    -anonymous

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    Fair is Fair
    anonymous
    Being gay is a genetic abnormality just as being albino is a genetic abnormality.
    -–
    I doubt it. Such a gene, if it existed, would have been flushed out of the gene pool millenia ago
    -----–
    Really? The gay gene if it existed would've been flushed out of the gene pool millenia ago?
    Why?
    How so?
    And by whom Fair?
    Your, er, intolerance is showing again Fair.
    -

    Flushed out by the process of evolution. You know, the process liberals and atheists believe in unconditionally. Gay couples would simply not reproduce and their numbers would gradually decline over the ages. Unfortunately they trick other non-gays into procreation and continue the genetic abnormality. Absent this deceit, the genetic abnormaility known as being gay would have disappeared long ago.

    Or do you argue against the evolution process?
    *********************
    No, we don't argue against the evolutionary process, since what you are describing is not evolution and certainly does not display a basic understanding of genetics. If what you describe were the case, blue eyes and other traits would have disappeared millenia ago. If there is a genetic componant to gay behavior, and its a recessive trait, there is a mathematical certainty it will resurface. As for your " tricking no gays into the behavior", I've not heard an example of psuedo-scientific hogwash since the last " Ancient Aliens" special on the History Channel. The reproduction argument is a non-starter, since recessive traits can be carried by people who do not manifest that praticular triat unless they have a proponderance of that particular characteristic in their genes. A simple reading of Gregor Mendel's work explains it quite nicely, even for someone without a scientific background.

    October 21, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. sly

    Opponents of gay marriage are the same folks who were crying about inter-racial marriage a few years back.

    Neanderthals will eventually evolve to the point where they accept that federal discrimination is wrong.

    Judging from the Republicans in this country – that could take 20 years ... but eventually the Sloth will gain intelligence.

    It is called 'evolution'.

    October 21, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. DavidInVancouverWA

    @lolobama -
    Perhaps the "moderate" christians should speak out against the "fanatic fundamentalist dominionist evangelical "christians" who are making all the noise. If you don't believe the way they do – take them down with your argument as a moderate. To allow them to take over the term "christian" is akin to agreeing with what they say.

    October 21, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    How old is this photo? I don't get why he still weighs so much ...

    October 21, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @Phyllis Gwendoline Williams: "Does he realize the seriousness of the Words "We ought to Obey God rather than Men" (Acts 5: 29)"

    If you want to live in a theocracy, move to Iran.

    October 21, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Name...zola Abraham

    It's unbelievable

    October 21, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. JHC

    How politically expedient for him to go against his real beliefs.

    October 21, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Omar

    @Phyllis Gwendoline Williams: "Does he realize the seriousness of the Words "We ought to Obey God rather than Men" (Acts 5: 29)"

    So if you are all for that part of the bible, then what about Romans 13:1-2 that says " Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow."

    October 21, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Andrew

    This is the 21st Century, right? Gay marriage or well gay people are in no way trying to infiltrate our communities or trying to seduce others into the "lifestyle".. Or whatever other silly argument people hide behind out of being stupid. It's not a choice or some lifestyle admiration. It's just life. If a god was so filled with hate for his own creations than why would such a god allow it to continue? God is than flawed.. Or doesn't exist or just doesn't actually hate.. That seems to be a human bi-product of manipulation and control.. Drive fear into those whom you wish to control. The bible is not gods word.. It is of man. Only man would write such a load of crap.

    October 21, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. noteasilyswayed

    Tea baggers want less government, right? So, how come they continue to try to impose their religious beliefs onto others by enacting laws that discriminate against gays and women? Why do they want to increase government interference into anyone's private life? Amazing the cognitive dissonance that is exhibited by these Neanderthals..... people need to keep religion out of government.

    October 21, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Ol' Yeller

    @ The Observer
    Good Post... well said.

    October 21, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Joe

    There's nothing to discuss. SSM will come to every state. If you want to spend your time hoping and praying that fire will rain down on us like it did for Canada (oh wait) then knock yourselves out, the adults are trying to have a discussion. /thread

    October 21, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Jackson

    lolobama

    Funny how some people on here are using this forum to paint all Christians as gay-hating bigots.

    Message to you all from a moderate Christian... the majority of us don't hate gays, it's just that traditional marriage is our belief. Me personally I could care less if gays are allowed to marry, it doesn't affect me because I ain't gay. I do not look down upon nor shun gays in any way.

    Most of us do not shove our religion down anyone's throats either. If someone wants to know why I believe in what I do, I'll gladly tell them. The barely masked anti-Christian hate on here is astounding. It must suck to live your life hating a group of others but convincing yourself it's justified lol

    _________________

    Funny how you address that last line solely to those bashing Christians. Why aren't you also directing that final line to Christians bashing gays? Hmmmm???????

    October 21, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Jackson

    Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    Does he realize the seriousness of the Words "We ought to Obey God rather than Men" (Acts 5: 29)

    ______________

    Do you realize the difference between a theocracy and a democratic republic?

    The US is not a theocracy. Religion has zero say in politics.

    October 21, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. Mark

    Flushed out by the process of evolution. You know, the process liberals and atheists believe in unconditionally. Gay couples would simply not reproduce and their numbers would gradually decline over the ages. Unfortunately they trick other non-gays into procreation and continue the genetic abnormality. Absent this deceit, the genetic abnormaility known as being gay would have disappeared long ago.

    Or do you argue against the evolution process?

    -Annonymous
    ---------------------------------------------------–
    clearly you have no idea how evolution or recessive genes work. sit down.

    October 21, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Joe

    Jackson – Once all the fundies shut up and stop slowing social progress, we'll leave you alone. The bias is caused by the social power of a particular religious belief. As an atheist I can very definitively say I'd rather have nothing to do with discussing any religion whatsoever. I may have my opinion, but I really don't have any reason to care... until I am given one. And I am given one often right now.

    October 21, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. Joe

    Ah, you were quoting lololobama... I dont get how this works yet, sorry.

    October 21, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. LarryH

    Re evolution: Plenty of gays have had children, too.

    October 21, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. vicjsm

    We should have a popular vote for all civil rights. Start with the evangelical churches.

    October 21, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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