Tuesday's New Jersey gubernatorial race is as much a referendum on gay marriage as it is a question on who will govern the Garden State.

The state's Democratic governor Jon Corzine has already promised the gay and lesbian community that if reelected he would shepherd a gay marriage bill through the Legislature, while his opponent, Republican Chris Christie, has vowed to oppose any such attempt.

Opponents have blasted Corzine's newly found gay marriage support, saying he is simply pandering to his gay supporters. The governor has opposed gay nuptials in the past, but says he has evolved on the issue.

In a recent response to the Newark daily the Star-Ledger, Corzine made his strongest statements in favor of gay marriage to date.

“I think we ought to go to marriage equality,” he said. “I want to be very clear on this. I don't call it gay marriage. I call it marriage equality because I believe that we ought to be treating people under the 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 a lame-duck, or if it doesn't occur in lame-duck, I'll push for it in the next year.”

Chris Christie responded that he was “not a supporter of same-sex marriage.”

“I think civil unions are strong and I think they're good and I'm a supporter of civil unions and the civil union law in New Jersey,” he said. “But I am not a supporter of same-sex marriage.”

“I think that's something that the people should vote on, not the Legislature,” he added.

Last week, the Christie campaign even played the gay marriage card, sending out fliers calling out Corzine on his gay marriage support, gay blog bilerico.com reported.

“Chris Christie says he supports a Marriage Protection Amendment that defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman,” the flier says. “Jon Corzine and [Independent candidate] Christopher Daggett say they would legalize same-sex marriage.”

“When you vote this Tuesday, please vote for the candidate that shares your values,” the flier adds.