Marriage equality arrived in New Jersey last October when Gov. Chris Christie (R) decided not to appeal a decision overturning the state’s ban. Speaking at the National Governors Association over the weekend, however, the possible 2016 presidential contender said that he believes the Republican Party should continue to fight against same-sex marriage.
“I don’t think that there’s going to be some major referee who’s going to say now it’s time to stop,” he said, explaining that Republicans shouldn’t abandon the issue now. “Certainly I’m not going to, because these are opinions that I feel strongly about.” Despite national polling momentum and the many court decisions overturning same-sex marriage bans, Christie’s not convinced of the inevitable: “The country will resolve this over a period of time. But do I think it’s resolved now? No.”
Not all Republican governors continue to be as fervent as Christie. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) conceded this weekend, “I don’t think the Republican Party is fighting it.” Walker said he still thinks marriage is an important issue, but he has equivocated in his opposition to same-sex couples marrying.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) similarly suggested that though he personally opposes marriage equality, he’s not sure fighting over social issues is time well spent: “I think the people of Iowa look to me to provide leadership in bringing good jobs and growing the Iowa economy.”
Christie admitted that marriage equality is probably “settled law” in New Jersey. Describing his decision not to appeal las fall, he explained, “When I know that I’ve been defeated you don’t bang your head against a wall and spend taxpayer money to do it.” As for whether the final resolution on the question will be nationwide marriage equality, he replied, “I don’t know, I don’t have a crystal ball.”