Republican gubernatorial candidate
Chris Christie says if elected he would support an effort to ban gay
marriage in New Jersey.
“If you're going to make that type of
groundbreaking societal change, people should get the chance to vote
on it,” Christie told The Associated Press in a Friday
interview. Christie, 47, says he supports civil unions for gay and
Governor Jon Corzine has promised to
back a gay marriage bill.
“I think we ought to go to marriage
equality,” Corzine told Newark daily the Star-Ledger last
The governor has promised that if
re-elected he would shepherd a gay marriage bill through the
Legislature, possibly as soon as November during a special lame-duck
Corzine signed a civil unions law in
2006, calling it a “proud” moment, but made it clear at the time
that he believed marriage was reserved for heterosexual unions.
Lately, however, he has shifted on the
issue, even appearing last summer at a Gay Pride festival in Asbury
“I want to be very clear on this,”
Corzine told the Star-Ledger. “I don't call it gay
marriage. I call it marriage equality because I believe that we
ought to be treating people under our Constitution here in the state
of New Jersey as determined by our courts. There needs to be equal
treatment under the law. If it's lame-duck, or if it doesn't occur
in lame-duck, I'll push for it in the next year.”
The governor's support for gay marriage
has turned the Garden State into the next likely battleground in the
gay marriage debate.
Democrats that support gay marriage
outweigh Republicans in the Legislature, but without Corzine in the
governor's mansion a gay marriage bill would likely be delayed four
more years because Democrats do not command a veto proof majority.
With the state plagued by high
unemployment and a sagging economy, Christie commanded a 10 point
lead over the incumbent Corzine in June. But recent polls show the
race tightening up to within a couple of points.