Democratic members of the New Jersey Assembly on Friday criticized Governor Chris Christie for vetoing a gay marriage bill.

Christie rejected the measure a day after the Assembly approved the measure and on the same day that a gay marriage bill cleared the Maryland House of Delegates, positioning Maryland to become the next state to legalize such unions.

The Republican governor said in a statement that he was vetoing the bill because “an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide.”

But that did not stop commentators from suggesting that Christie's decision was motivated by election year politics. A rising star in the GOP, Christie is often mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate.

“I'm very disappointed that he has chosen to adopt that position,” Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver said in a video press release.

“It's really unfathomable why the governor, who is also a lawyer, would ignore Supreme Court precedent, would instead choose to put a fundamental civil right on a ballot question and subject it to the vagaries of an election campaign when leadership, when statesmanship is what's required to deliver civil rights,” Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski said.

Oliver added that Democrats were united in growing a two-thirds majority vote in each chamber to override Christie's veto. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)