New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has backed away from past comments he’s made about vetoing a same-sex marriage bill, promising he’ll make a “deliberate” and “thoughtful” decision if it passes in the legislature:
I’ve been very clear on my view on this since I ran for office that I’m not a supporter of same-sex marriage. But on the other hand, the fact is that this is a huge societal change that they’re talking about here and I think that we need to do this in a very deliberate and thoughtful way and get the most input from the public we can before we overturn hundreds of years of societal legal and religious tradition.
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This “we’ll see what happens” approach is quite a change from his 2009 comments that he would return a same-sex marriage bill to the legislature “with a big red veto across it.” The National Organization for Marriage has been writing feverishly that Christie should honor that years-old promise.
But Christie is right to heed more input from the public, given a new Quinnipiac poll shows a majority of New Jersey voters — 52 percent — support marriage equality while only 42 percent oppose it. Likewise, 65 percent believe same-sex marriage is not a threat to traditional marriage, 53 percent agree that denying same-sex marriage is a form of discrimination, and 66 percent adoption rights for same-sex couples. Perhaps Christie senses that a veto of marriage equality would be not only offensive and discriminatory, but politically unpopular as well.