Calling for the state legislature to stop using the issue of same-sex marriage as a "political football", Gov. Chris Christie today said he believes the issue should be decided by the people, and not by politicians.
"If New Jersey is looking to overturn hundreds of years of societal, legal and religious tradition, we need to give the issue the weight that it merits," the governor told a town hall audience in Bridgewater Tuesday afternoon.
Coinciding with today's introduction of the "Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act", sponsored by Senate Democrats, Christie said he would veto legislation currently being considered by the state legislature, two years after a similar bill failed to garner enough support for passage.
"The institution of marriage is too serious to be treated like a political football...let's let the people of New Jersey decide."
Christie, who has said he opposes gay marriage in the past, said he would accept whatever decision is rendered by a public referendum.
"I would certainly be willing to be governed by a decision of the people of this state, especially in a year that the most people will be voting in the state," the governor said, referring to this November's Presidential Election.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union), Sen. Stephen M. Sweeney (D-West Deptford), and was Co-Sponsored by Sen. Richard J. Codey (D-Livingston), and Sen. Nia H. Gill Esq. (D-Montclair).
While long a divisive issue in the Garden State, A recent poll of New Jersey voters showed more than 50 percent support for same sex marriage for the first time ever.