Chris Christie Veto Gay Marriage
February 18, 2012 by staff
Chris Christie Veto Gay Marriage, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill legalizing gay marriage as promised on Friday, asking lawmakers instead to appoint an advocate for same-sex couples under the state’s existing civil union law.
Christie, a supporter of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and often mentioned as a potential vice-presidential candidate, had pledged to veto the measure for weeks, saying voters should settle the matter through a referendum.
As Christie vetoed the bill, lawmakers in Maryland debated a similar bill to legalize gay marriage and were expected to vote later Friday.
Already a contentious social issue, gay marriage legislation has gained even more prominence ahead of November’s presidential elections, with advocates framing it as a civil rights issue and opponents saying marriage should be reserved for unions between a man and a woman.
The New Jersey governor asked lawmakers to create an ombudsman for civil unions of same-sex couples who would “carry on New Jersey’s strong tradition of tolerance and fairness.”
“The ombudsman will be charged with increasing awareness of the law regarding civil unions, will provide 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. In this way, we can ensure equal treatment under the law,” Christie said in a statement.
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