February 21st, 2012
01:42 PM ET
10 years ago

Christie explains same-sex marriage veto

(CNN) – Leading up to his veto of a same-sex marriage bill passed by his state legislature, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie explained his decision to CNN's Piers Morgan, and said that although he is an opponent of same-sex marriage, he favors putting the policy to the people.

"I know this is a very emotional issue and a very divisive issue in my state," Christie said in an interview to air on Piers Morgan Tonight Tuesday. "The only way we have to amend our constitution in New Jersey - which is by referendum - let's put it on the ballot and let's let the people decide.

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"And if the people in New Jersey, as some of the same sex marriage advocates suggest the polls indicate are in favor of it, then my position would not be the winning position but I'm willing to take that risk because I trust the people of the state," he continued in the interview.

The governor who was pressured by some conservatives to enter the GOP presidential field said that his personal position is guided by his Catholic faith and that he won't "compromise my principles for politics." He said his position should be no surprise to voters.

"Now that the legislature has passed that piece of legislation, then I will veto it because that's what I promised to do and that's what I think is the right thing to do," he said.

A proponent of civil unions rather than same-sex marriages, Christie said he separates his personal beliefs from his politics, and from his view that voters ought to decide this issue at the polls.

Christie adamantly and consistently said he would not enter the presidential race, and endorsed Mitt Romney in October 2011.

Also see:

Santorum clarifies 'theology' remark

Santorum rips Obama on social agenda

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.

Filed under: Chris Christie • Faith • New Jersey • Same-sex marriage • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Lard bottom also said that civil rights should have been left to the people, and not those elected officials who actually make the laws. I am not sure that the people of the south would have voted for civil rights legislation even today. Christie is a typical "pass the buck" republican who blames everyone else for his failed leadership.

    February 21, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Larry L

    He's trying to play it both ways – just another politician.

    February 21, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    "The pro-marriage group only promised me a year's worth of free vittles at the local Denny's. I need at least 2 years worth to listen to them"

    February 21, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. AL In Palm Beach County, FL

    Don't let this guy fool you with this answer. The truth is simple.

    WITHOUT A CONTROVERSIAL SOCIAL ISSUE ON THE BALLOT THIS TIME AROUND, many republicans will not bother show up to vote.

    Don't believe me, just look at every national election for the last 10 years, you will find at least one social issue on the ballot.

    February 21, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Phil in KC

    Oh, let's call it what it is. He's running for VP – or maybe Pres if it comes to a brokered convention. He'll never get either if he doesn't veto that law.

    February 21, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. maf

    Let the people decide, so that Christie can hide behind the fact that the majority is allowed to impose their sense of "right" on those who continue to be marginalized and discriminated against.

    Grow up Mr. Christie. Should you wish to run for the GOP nomination in 2016, this will be a tell-tale black mark on your ability to move forward!!!

    February 21, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Typical Christie copout from a guy who apparently hasn't learned from history and numerous court cases that civil rights are not a matter to be determined by referendum.

    February 21, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    This only proves that big people can be gutless wonders, too.

    February 21, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. GI Joe.

    I thought leaders were supposed to lead? It has been legislated, sign it.

    Or do away with legislators if they have no job to do. Better yet, quit yourself, and let EVERYTHING go to ballot.

    What a loser.

    February 21, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Taran

    @Wire......"Christie is a typical "pass the buck" republican who blames everyone else for his failed leadership...." As Obama continues to blame bush and the previous administration over 3 years later? Come on, cut the hypocrisy.

    February 21, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. ljjm

    I'm glad Christie wasn't governor during the Civil Rights Movement. He would have let bigoted people vote on whether blacks could have their basic rights as citizens.

    February 21, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |

    puck, puck, puck, puckaaaaaaaaaa (chicken sounds) It seems to me Christie pulled this stun so the GOP establishment wouldn't be mad at him. Wah, wah, wah. Wuss.

    February 21, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. mctampa

    Hey tubbo, guess what if you had put civil rights or women's right to a "public referendum" in the south, guess what, there would still be jim crow laws and women would still be 'owned" by their men. shame on you for taking the cowards way out.

    February 21, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Dave

    This is just another "abdication of leadership." He and the legislators in New Jersey were elected to represent the citizens and make laws. That’s their job. Christie wants to put the vote to the people and if it passes, he doesn't have to take any responsibility for it. That's very convenient when Christie tries to run for a higher office. He can just blame the voters when the right-wing idiots get on him about gay marriage. In other words, he's just a typical Republican – he has no integrity, no compassion, no intelligence, and is incapable taking any personal responsibility.

    February 21, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |


    It was Bush's fault. You come on and cut out the delusions. Have a nice day.

    February 21, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Kevin in Atlanta

    Would Gov. Christie ever consider putting his own marriage on a statewide referendum? I seriously doubt it.

    February 21, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Scott

    @Taran..."Come on, cut the hypocrisy." First, you're putting words into Taran's mouth–he never blamed anything on Bush in his post.

    Second, there's a difference between "passing the buck" to the voter to do your dirty work for you (i.e., maintain discrimination) and blaming a previous administration for a poor economy. The fact is that Bush left office with the second worst recession in history underway. Obama has turned that around, but it takes time–you don't just snap your fingers and stop a massive economic downslide. Only an idiot would argue otherwise. Blame should be placed where it's due.

    February 21, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. MTATL67

    The Republican's us this excuse "Let the people decide" they apply at their connivance. Guaranteed Gov. Christie will change his position if the people of New Jersey were to pass such a measure. He would take Mr. Santorums position that it is a federal matter which is a change in the Republican position that government is too intrusive in state matters. The Republican's fail to realize is that these shifting positions confirms their divisiveness and intolerance of others.

    February 21, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Taran – Obama never blamed Bush for W's failed presidency, but most of America did. Obama inherited a country in the crapper, and if he says that we lost 8 million jobs in Bush's last three years, that is a fact.

    February 21, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Scott wrote:

    Obama has turned that around, but it takes time–you don't just snap your fingers and stop a massive economic downslide. Only an idiot would argue otherwise.
    Only an idiot would believe it. Only the guilty party would argue otherwise.

    February 21, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. ST

    Christie hasn't used any pen to veto the bill. He is just expressing what is in his mind. It is easier said than done!

    February 21, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. muslim2012

    the last gay city that GOD destroyed is the bottom of the dead sea,go dig it up for yourself,then you will know the truth.

    February 21, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Taran

    On the day Obama released his first bloated "New Era of Responsibility" budget (seriously, that's what he called it) in February 2009, the national debt was $10,881,159,722,000. When Obama released his current budget earlier this week, the national debt was $15,359,441,622,000.
    Now, if you don't have your nifty debt calculator handy, that is an increase of more than $4.47 trillion. That's right, Obama did not "cut the deficit in half" as he pledged in 2009. In fact, he increased the national debt, in just his first three years, more than all previous U.S. presidents from George Washington to Bush(41).
    Things that make you go, "hmmmmmmmm." You can't argue with facts, no matter how hard you lefties try. It took george bush 8 hears to increase the budget 4.9 trillion, including the two wars.

    February 21, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. Tony ny

    @Taran Bush and all republicans including who voted for them contributed to the biggest depression in US history then they get voted out. then 2 years after the teaparty started shouting loud basically a bunch of lies and the repukes put them back in thus they became a do nothing congress, and i will continue to blame the republican party until we come of this recession they put us in. I am sorry i will not blame Obama because he is the one who has taken steps that's working to get us out. the repukes are trying to shove us off the cliff with the same policies that got us there i the first place.

    February 21, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Taran – that did not include the Bush program TARP, and the unfunded republican wars.

    February 21, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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