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Chris Christie's anti-gay veto may come back to bite him

Chairman of New Jersey's LGBT activist group Garden State Equality, Steve Goldstein, has been fighting tirelessly along with countless other gay rights advocates to make same-sex marriage legal. Five years ago, New Jersey's state Supreme Court declared that gay couples should have identical rights as married heterosexual couples; subsequently, the Legislature created civil unions. But gay rights advocates claim the "civil union" designation is very ambiguous and still treats gay couples much different from heterosexual couples.

Goldstein, ever the incorrigible optimist but with a soupcon of pragmatism, made the following eloquent and encouraging statement in response to Christie's veto, from the Miami Herald:

As we await the Governor’s veto of the marriage equality bill, I beg your indulgence if this statement is a bit more personal than usual. Many in Trenton know that Governor Christie and I have a good relationship. This may come as a surprise, and even disappointment, to some of Garden State Equality’s members, but I like the Governor personally even though I agree with him on almost nothing. I came of political age where leaders who disagree passionately on the issues, who even fight with one another like cats and dogs in the political arena, were able put the fights aside and see one another as people. I grew up at a time when the legendary Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House, Tip O’Neill – a hero of mine – and President Reagan did exactly that. And it’s always been my philosophy in dealing with Governor Christie and his Administration.

And having worked for several public officials myself, I know there’s a heck of lot more to them than their public images would suggest. No public figure is the two-dimensional character of the headlines. As Garden State Equality’s leader, I have worked closely with this Governor on issues upon which we agree, notably to counter school bullying.

As I have said before, where we agree with them on the issues, Governor Christie and his Administration have treated us with warmth and responsiveness. Yes is yes, no is no, and we’ll get back to you means they get back to you faster than you thought, usually with invaluable help.

And that’s precisely why Governor Christie’s veto of the marriage equality bill will hurt so badly. We’re not naïve – we’ve always known he would veto the bill, and frankly, I was always a bit puzzled by the silly tea-leaf reading and phantasmagoric hopes that perhaps the Governor would look deep inside his heart and let the bill become law. Ridiculous. I know this Governor, and when he says he’ll do something, take him at his word, for better and here for worse.

Comments (3)
3 Monday, 20 February 2012 14:55
As an uninformed and uneducated (aka, average) American, I think poor Governor Christine of New Jersey is trying her best to do the right thing. And I don't know who rules Maryland, but I'm sure he's working equally hard to prevent the horror of gay marriage.

Let's all be Waterford Crystal clear about what's really going on here: The fate of both Maryland and New Jersey... and the entire earth... hang in the balance. Gay marriage is a cause for great alarm and my very well be the first warning sign of The Rapture.

At this very moment, innumerable married gays around the world are committing acts of what I have taken to calling “homoterrorism”. It's true. For example, if a large number of lesbians were to hug one another, it could cause the collapse of the Greek economy. (See. I told you.)

To learn more about this important issue, please visit us at
2 Monday, 20 February 2012 09:39
When you have a legislature pass an important civil rights issue like this, the govenor failed to do his homework. His veto went against the law and constitution. Did he even hear of prop 8? So far, 3 out of 4 judges have deemed a mob vote on a minorities civil right, illegal. Chrisie must have been referring to "biblical law".
1 Saturday, 18 February 2012 14:07
Martin Pal
Whatever I thought of Chris Christie before, I am now ACTIVELY anti-Christie. We elect representatives to our state and federal governments to REPRESENT our preferences and have them do this work for us. Everything in our lives is not up for a vote. The NJ legislature put a bill on Christie's desk. The most recent polls show his state agrees with it. He won't sign it. I say NJ Legislatures put up for a vote that Governors should weigh no more than, I'll be generous, 250 lbs.

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