New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has reiterated that he believes the issue of whether to legalize gay marriage should be decided by the voters of New Jersey, not politicians or judges.

Christie, a Republican, made his remarks during the first televised gubernatorial debate against his Democratic challenger, state Senator Barbara Buono.

The debate took place on the same day that Christie was questioned about his stance during a campaign stop in Edison.

(Related: Chris Christie insists his mind is made up on gay marriage.)

“Can you explain why who someone marries should be put to a voter referendum?” Alfred Doblin, editorial page editor of The Editor, asked Christie.

“I believe that the institution of marriage for 2,000 years has been between a man and a woman. And if we're going to change that core definition of marriage, I don't think that should be decided by 121 politicians in Trenton or 7 judges on the [New Jersey] Supreme Court. It should be decided by the 8.8 million people of New Jersey,” Christie answered.

Buono, whose youngest daughter, Tessa Bitterman, is gay, knocked Christie for his earlier comments at the campaign stop.

“The governor said today at a diner in Edison that he equated marriage equality with guns and taxes,” Buono said in response. “It's a human right. I mean, governor show a profile in courage and do the right thing for our sons and our daughters, our brothers and our sisters. This is a human right. And it really should not be on the ballot. We should not have the majority of the people decide the minority's rights. It's just wrong.”

“The idea that this should never be on the ballot is something that is against what 35 other states have done,” Christie said in his rebuttal. “I trust the people of New Jersey to make this judgment. I don't trust 121 politicians with political agendas [to] decide these things.”

(Related: Large majority of New Jersey voters favor ruling legalizing gay marriage.)