Was Christie's Veto Wrong?

Should the governor have signed into law gay marriage after the state Legislature approved it?

This week in a historic vote in New Jersey, the state Assembly voted 42-33 to approve gay marriage. The state Senate also approved the same measure, but Gov. Chris Christie promised to veto the measure as soon as it hit his desk - and he did late Friday.

His decision has come under criticism and some elected officials have said they will work to override the governor's veto - though it is not clear if there will be enough votes to do so.

However, the governor has said his veto is conditional - he wants to put the whole matter before the public and let the issue of gay marriage be decided by the voters.

What do you think? 

Chris February 19, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Civil Unions should have been enough to deal with the complaints made by homosexual activists. There really was no legitimate reason to ask for marriage. It’s quite obvious--homosexual activists believe this will bring about societal acceptance of their lifestyle. As long as religion lives and people believe in their faith—this will never come about. And interestingly enough, all major faiths teach that practicing homosexuality goes against the laws of God and against the laws of nature. No piece of legislation can ever change that. It is possible to view homosexuality as morally wrong and still treat homosexual individuals with respect. Most faiths teach brotherly love and that also must be practiced. Most faiths teach that sex outside of marriage is morally wrong, and yet; many of us have young relatives that co-habitat. We do not shun them, bash them or mistreat them. We still love them but we do not approve of their lifestyle. We understand that we too fall short of living perfect lives. This is the most that can be asked of people who truly believe in the teachings of their faith. As long as there are people of faith; people who believe in God, homosexuals will not get the approval they seek. Life is about give and take; they have won all the advantages to marriage through legalized civil unions. Let that be enough.
Martin Golan February 19, 2012 at 03:06 PM
You have a lot of gall to decide what is "enough" for other human beings, and have an odd definition of "respect." And if you want to use religion as an excuse for prejudice, the Bible condemns many things we, in an (one would like to think) enlightened age, reject. For example, Leviticus clearly says that people who are crippled in any way, should never be allowed in a "House of God." In other words, someone in a wheel chair shouldn't be allowed in a church or synagogue. Do you accept that? So why cherry pick to deny gay men and lesbians equal rights?
Chris February 19, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Martin, I could turn that around--you have a lot of gall to impose and force your values on others--to go so far to ask society to change an institution that has existed for centuries—that actually defines society merely to satisfy your whims. Personally, I do not want to seem harsh--although the responses against any who disagree with homosexual marriage have been just that, very harsh. I just wanted to demonstrate that there is another side to this.
Sarah February 19, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Chris, being homosexual is not a "whim" and religion is supposed to be separate from government anyway because of the Constitution. Society set up the institution of slavery as well (which also defined society), and was recently abolished compared to the length of time it has been around. I could go on for much longer but I do not want to sound too harsh. Also, this matter should not go to a public vote, because it is a matter of civil rights. Anyway, why do others care so much if two loving people they do not know get married?
Joe February 19, 2012 at 04:35 PM
To Chris...... You have clearly represented the other side to this issue.....the ignorant side to it. Your comment has historical context..... Like those against women's right to vote, to civil rights , to interracial marriage etc etc.
Dirk February 19, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Sarah to correct you we did not abolish slavery we just changed it's form. We now call it "entitlements" which keep those who recieve such, slaves to such and to those who propagate such. Secondly, the US Constitution granuntees us the freedom of religion, not from it. Thirdly, the Constituion, this country, and its laws are all judeo-christion based. Next I would like to point out that your "sepration of Church and State" argument has a very big flaw. That is the fact that the Declaration of Indepenance very clearly uses religion as it's basis. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..." That is the first sentance in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independance. Also consider, it wasn't until Bill Clinton's political correctness movement that the majority of the people lost control, which in turn pushed the social engineering upon us all. That is to say that the opinions of the minority have become more important than those of the majority. Many of the gay and lesbian community will tell you that they are that way because of genetics. This is simply untrue. For, if it were genetics, through Darwin's theory there would be no gays and lesbians as they cannot reproduce within their own kind. Since both sexes are required for reproduction, homosexuals would have died out thousands of years ago, if it were genetic.
Belleville Sentinel February 20, 2012 at 01:07 AM
To Dirk - you couldn't be more incorrect about the intentions of our Founders - they in fact always wanted a complete separation of Church and State and to permanently provide both freedom of and freedom from religion as detailed in http://www.thenation.com/article/our-godless-constitution . After reading article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli unanimously signed by the Senate in 1797 with the explicit phrase "As the Government of the United States...is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion" please explain the oft stated Republican mantra that the Founders wrote a Constitution based on Judeo-Christian norms.
Mike February 20, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I agree 100% Chris. Why isn’t a civil union enough? Why does it have to be called “marriage”? The majority of Americans hold the sanctity of marriage as an inviolable and sacred union that exists between a man and a woman because they are natural partners; they are the natural counterparts to one another. Same sex acts are not natural; there is no denying the act invokes unnatural practices and its function is contrary to nature. It’s like trying to unite a proton to a proton, instead of a proton to a neutron. To say that two protons don’t naturally connect is not a judgment call; it’s a fact. We can all walk around and say that black is white, but we all know that black is not white, it is black. Americans are opposed to the homosexual community’s wish to inflict their burden upon everyone else by asking everyone else to deny the truth to accommodate them by changing the sanctity of marriage. Why is it so important for the homosexual community to achieve this end? It is not within anyone’s power, whether it be a senator, governor, or president, to impose himself upon a marital law that has existed for thousands of years. Again, Americans are not imposing views upon the homosexual community; rather it is some of the homosexual community who are imposing themselves upon all of society in their insistence to make this change.
Sue February 21, 2012 at 04:59 PM
The legislature was elected by the people to do the will of the people. Our elected representatives have approved gay marriage through the passage of the bill through both the Assembly and the Senate. Why is this action of a representative government not enough for Governor Christie? Legislative action seems to be acceptable for him when it agrees with his political agenda.
Right of Center February 21, 2012 at 05:06 PM
"Legislative action seems to be acceptable for him when it agrees with his political agenda." That's precisely how the system works. I disagree with his veto but not because it contravenes the legislature That's the whole point of a veto. The veto is a legtimate tool for the executive.
LK2011 February 21, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Yes, the veto is a legitimate tool for the Governor. But he also faces the consequences of a decision that basically tells gay and lesbian citizens of NJ - and their millions of friends and family members - that they should get more comfortable at the back of the bus.
Monk February 21, 2012 at 06:08 PM
I wouldn't say we have a very representative government. Otherwise, there would be no problem putting votes out for public approval via referenda or ballot questions. Wouldn't it be fair to say that it was a special interest group that likely prompted the legislative action? And politicians say anything to get elected. So, you can't even be sure the candidate for whom you vote will actually represent you. If the legislators are pressured by one group and the governor by an opposing group, I guess that's representative government a la 2012. It stinks for everyone, and is better to limit it than let it run amok.
Brandon Isaacson February 21, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Well said. Thank you
E Liz February 21, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Weddings are a big business and contribute significantly to local economies (think caterers, florists, musicians, photographers, etc... most of which are small businesses probably struggling over the last few years). Legalization of gay marriage in NJ could potentially help these struggling businesses get through the last part of this recession. I personally don't see what the big deal is - religion or no religion. First of all, (some) straight married people are adulterers or abusers, and many end up divorced anyway. I think the sanctity of marriage (that a precious few still believe in) has been gone for a long time (have you seen the billboards for $250 divorce?). Even if you don't agree with what same-sex couples do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, they are doing what they do anyway - what difference does it make if they are legally married? It's a piece of paper. I say let who ever wants to get married do so -- and hope they have big, beautiful expensive weddings!
david Golush February 21, 2012 at 08:21 PM
He made a political decision.I believed he should have approved the bill.
Nick Muson February 21, 2012 at 08:32 PM
It is very easy to politely deny someone their rights. It is not quite as easy to be polite when fighting for them. For instance, saying things like "We still love them but we do not approve of their lifestyle." "It is possible to view homosexuality as morally wrong and still treat homosexual individuals with respect" And they may seem polite and civil to you, but in fact it is extremely patronizing. This may surprise you to hear, but being told "I respect you but you're going to burn in hell" is not very friendly-like.
DAM February 22, 2012 at 01:08 AM
I would venture to guess that none of our commentators, if married, were told by others who they could or could not marry ... Marriage may be legally performed by persons other than clergy ... Considering a divorce rate of around 40 % in our nation, as traditionally performed, how much worse could same-sex marriage be? ... If a person should feel that this proposal is sin, why not let God decide on the issue rather than intervening on His/Her behalf ...
Pastor Greg Boyle February 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM
DAM, If God did weigh in on the issue would you accept His decision?
Just the facts February 22, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Personally, I think government made a big mistake (and there is more than one example) anytime they used language that came from a religious reference. Back in the day when they wanted to provide certain laws and recognized the union of two adults they chose the religious term of marriage. Frankly, any person that has been united by a justice of the peace, mayor or other individual without ties to a specific religion should be considered united through a civil union - straight, gay, whatever.....then watch how the law makers start to redefine the benefits each party recieves and the complexity of the legal system. If you want your union blessed through some religious leader....now you can be married, but being married doesn't provide the benefits, the civil union does.....unfortunately, we are now "stuck" with this word and need to make the most of it.
J February 22, 2012 at 05:07 PM
"Retard"...really? You may disagree with Gov. Christie, but I can assure you he isn't mentally handicapped. I might have suggested the adjective "Savvy" for two reasons: (1) he knows that our fine state politicians want to use this issue to draw favor from supporters of this proposal and (2) he gets the credit regardless of the outcome of a public vote. Should you insist on questioning the governor's mental condition, could you at least choose a word that isn't offensive to people with Down Syndrome or any other mental health condition?
Monk February 22, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Marriage isn't a right to those ineligible to marry. Per Wikipedia: Marriage is an institution that is historically filled with restrictions. From age, to race, to social status, to consanguinity, to gender, restrictions are placed on marriage by society for reasons of benefiting the children, passing on healthy genes, maintaining cultural values, or because of prejudice and fear. What to some are cultural values, others call prejudice and fear. Like it or not, religion is a part of the culture. Last I checked, this was the United States of America, not the United States of Atheism. That's just the way it is. On the other hand, there should be no penalties for a couple of fellers or ladies in a civil union.
David Herman February 22, 2012 at 08:25 PM
It's a sad state of affairs when what is supposed to your moral compass "religion" tells you that its ok to discriminate against a group who behaves in a way you don't like. you are a bunch of hypocrites. institutionalized discrimination is much more crippling to society than what goes in in someone else's house. why can't you small government lovers see that? because you are blinded by dogma.
A. Gideon February 22, 2012 at 09:15 PM
"Same sex acts are not natural" Flight is not natural for humans, but we do it anyway. Travel by car is not natural. Using a washing machine is not natural. Making a shake in a blender is not natural. Flushing toilets are not natural. Posting to blogs is not natural. Anyone claiming that humans should be limited to what's natural will be, presumably, absent from this forum. ...Andrew
A. Gideon February 22, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Vox populi, vox dei. I read a recent posting to the NYTimes that made a terrific point. Paraphrasing it (and not doing it justice, I expect): It is the convenient god that encourages believers' prejudices. ...Andrew
Monk February 22, 2012 at 09:32 PM
David, it ain't perfect, but the religious aspect of our American culture has done far more good than harm. No rational person can honestly reject that.
David Herman February 22, 2012 at 09:54 PM
i agree, there are many positive aspects to religious beliefs. But when religion is used to marginalize others' beliefs and way of life, it can also be very dangerous. Thankfully, all people are people in this country, no matter what god, if any, they believe in. One day soon, all my friends will have the same rights I enjoy, despite the best efforts of those who use divine justifications for hate and mistreatment of others.
Monk February 22, 2012 at 11:10 PM
As I said, what to some are cultural values, others call prejudice and fear. For those who do not share or fully understand a value — in this instance, the traditional concept of marriage, calling it hateful is, well, bigoted in its own way.
Butterfly February 23, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Greg & J, Can you please do your religious pandering in the semi-privacy of your own holy ritual places? Reading in the morning that God created man and woman is a bit too much ignorance for me to handle.
David Herman February 23, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I respect your values; they only become "prejudice and fear" when you try to use those values to make others who don't share those values lesser members of society. I encourage you to have whatever values you see fit, just don't impose them on us. If 2 gays marry, how does that in any way effect you or your belief system?
Monk February 23, 2012 at 08:38 PM
The term "marriage" has great symbolic meaning as it has been used for centuries by heterosexual couples to designate their bond. It's the redefinition and co-opting of the term that is objectionable. You can't just blow off history and culture. If it is only a matter of unequal taxation, the government can end its discrimination without redefining symbolic words. Can someone really complain about being marginalized when they freely live a lifestyle at the periphery of the cultural norms? This may all be moot in a few decades since cultural norms evolve. But in the meantime, a hard push from the left is bound to be answered with some pushback from the right. And it's not as if something new is being imposed on gay couples. It is quite the opposite. Gay couples are the innovators here.


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