TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Chris Christie has followed through on his promise to reject a bill allowing same-sex marriage in New Jersey by quickly vetoing the measure Friday and renewing his call for a ballot question to decide the issue.
The veto came a day after the state Assembly passed the bill. The state Senate had passed it on Monday. Christie, a Republican who opposes same-sex marriage, had vowed “very swift action” once the measure reached his desk.
In returning the bill to the Legislature, Christie reaffirmed his view that voters should decide whether to change the definition of marriage in New Jersey. His veto also proposed creating an ombudsman to oversee compliance with the state’s civil union law, which same-sex couples have said is flawed and promotes discrimination.
“I am adhering to what I’ve said since this bill was first introduced: an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide,” Christie said in a statement.
Democrats who had pushed the bill forward said they were disappointed, but not surprised, by Christie’s action.
Lawmakers in New Jersey have until the end of the legislative session in January 2014 to override the veto.