Newark Mayor Cory Booker has criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's call to let voters decide whether gay people should have the right to marry.

Christie made his remarks as a bill that would make New Jersey the seventh state to legalize gay marriage cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with an 8 to 4 vote.

Christie broke weeks of silence on the issue on Tuesday, calling on lawmakers to put the question before voters and vowed to veto the measure if it reached his desk.

“Let the people of New Jersey decide what is right for the state,” he said.

(Related: NOM cheers Chris Christie's decision to veto New Jersey gay marriage bill.)

When asked by a reporter his thoughts on the issue, Booker answered that he was opposed to the idea.

“Dear God, we should not put civil rights issues to a popular vote to be subject to the sentiments and passions of the day. No minority should have their civil rights subject to the passions and sentiments of the majority. This is a fundamental bedrock of what our nation stands for. We have created in our state and refuse to address, and call it like it is, a second class citizenship. Let's stop the ruse.”

“Don’t just point to the governor – we had the chance to do this under the last governor, and we didn't have the courage to stand up and do the right thing. It's about time we create first-class citizenship for every American, plain and simple. Every New Jerseyan. This should not be a popular vote. This is something we should do now.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)