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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Left-Wing Conservative: Marriage Equality in New Jersey

There is still no marriage equality in New Jersey. It lost by one vote - Governor Christie.

I wrote him a letter about it, and received his reply, reproduced verbatim below.

Office of the Governor

Office of Constituent Relations

Post Office Box 001

Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001


March 29, 2012

Mr. David M. Snyder

Kendall Park, New Jersey

Dear Mr. Snyder:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for Senate Bill No. 1 and
Assembly Bill No. 1, both of which would establish the "Marriage Equality
and Religious Exemption Act."  I appreciate hearing your views on this

As you may know, I conditionally vetoed this legislation.  While I believe
the wisdom of same-sex marriage can be debated, it is beyond dispute that
such a step represents a profoundly significant change.  The framers of our
State Constitution created the referendum process as the sole mechanism by
which the Constitution can be amended to consider precisely these important
issues.  I have repeatedly encouraged and continue to ask that our State
Legislature trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing
our citizens to vote on the question of same-sex marriage.  I believe this
is best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state.  An
issue as important as this should be left for the people of our state to
decide, not 120 legislators in Trenton.  Moreover, public polling has shown
that the majority of voters in our state support same sex marriage.  I want
to leave it to the people of our state to decide, and will be guided by
their will.

Some have said that the impetus for same sex marriage is that regulations
related to our state's civil union statutes are somehow flawed or not being
enforced.  This is a charge I take very seriously.  Same-sex couples in a
civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married
couples - as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits.
Discrimination should not be tolerated and any complaint alleging a
violation of a citizen's right should be investigated and, if appropriate,
remedied. That's why I have called upon the Assembly and Senate to revise
this legislation to immediately create an Ombudsman for Civil Unions in the
Department of Law and Public Safety. The Ombudsman will work with the
Attorney General and would be charged with increasing awareness of the law
regarding civil unions and will provide a clear point of contact for anyone
who feels that the law is not being followed or that they are not being
afforded the protections and rights to which they are entitled.  In this
way, we can ensure equal treatment under the law.

While I understand that we may not agree on this issue, I hope this
information clarifies your concerns about this matter.  Thank you again for
writing and best wishes.


Chris Christie


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