New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on
Monday nominated Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce A. Harris to the state
Supreme Court, the Star-Ledger
If approved, Harris would become the
first openly gay person and the third African-American to serve on
the state's highest court.
“Today, the governor has made civil
rights history,” Steven Goldstein, CEO off Garden State Equality,
the state's largest gay rights advocate, said in a statement. “I
extend to him our most profound appreciation.”
The announcement comes as New Jersey
lawmakers prepare to debate a bill that would make New Jersey the
seventh state to legalize gay marriage.
Christie has previously said he would
veto such a bill, if approved by lawmakers. But he's softened his
stance a bit during recent interviews in which he has declined to say
whether he planned to sign the legislation, veto it or allow it to
become law without his signature.
Goldstein added that it would be
“unwise” to read into Christie's nomination as a nod toward the
“[H]e has said in past months and
years that he would veto the bill, and we take him at his word,”
Goldstein said. “We will fight hard every minute of every day to
win marriage equality in New Jersey.”