Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, is clinging to the idea that he can, somehow, gain an advantage by pushing for a vote on same-sex marriage. On CBS, Christie made it clear that he still feels that way despite the recent thrashing the anti-marriage equality groups got in the last election.
Christie stated that “what I will tell you is that I understand that good people of good will have a difference of opinion on this, and so my view on it is, put it on the ballot. Let the people decide.”
Christie’s view is common among the Republicans, many of whom feel that civil rights should be dolled out by the Majority on the Minority rather than be the common rights of all. Christie is a Catholic of Italian descent, and is woefully ignorant of his own religion and ethnicity’s history with civil rights.
Until the First Amendment of the United States Constitution was adopted, Catholics had few rights in the British Colonies, and could not hold public office, get married in a Catholic Church, or vote. Even with the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of and from religion, Catholics faced generations of prejudice and discrimination right up to the 1960 Presidential Election where President John Kennedy’s Catholicism was a campaign issue.
Italians faced persecution for generations upon arriving in the United States.
Christie has also made it clear that he plans to appeal the ruling of Judge Mary Jacobson of Mercer County Superior Court. She ruled that beginning on 21 October, same-sex couples had to be granted marriage licenses by the state.
Christie will also, likely, seek a ruling staying Judge Jacobson’s ruling and the date that the marriage licenses can start being released.
Governor Christie’s office issued a statement saying the same tired thing about wanting this to go before the voters. His office said that Christie “has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this election day. Since the Legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination.”
In her ruling on the suit brought by six gay couples, Judge Jacobson cited United States v. Windsor, the case that brought down the ban on the federal government recognizing same-sex marriage. Jacobson wrote that “This unequal treatment requires that New Jersey extend civil marriage to same-sex couples to satisfy equal protection guarantees of the New Jersey Constitution as interpreted by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Lewis. Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution.”
Christie is desperate to keep his job at Governor of New Jersey and has been playing a lot to the base of the Republican Party, including the Tea Party and Bigot wings.