As he had promised, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed a bill that would have allowed gay marriage in his state.
The governor issued his veto just a day after the state’s legislature passed the bill. According to The Star-Ledger, Christie said that he was, however, appointing an “ombudsman to address complaints of same-sex couples and strengthen New Jersey’s civil union’s law.”
Christie said that an “issue of this magnitude,” required a constitutional amendment and should be decided by letting the people of New Jersey vote.
“I have been just as adamant that same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples — as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits,” Christie said in a statement, according the paper. “Discrimination should not be tolerated and any complaint alleging a violation of a citizen’s right should be investigated and, if appropriate, remedied.”
The AP reports that Democrats who ushered the bill through the legislature were not surprised.
“It’s unfortunate that the governor would let his own personal ideology infringe on the rights of thousands of New Jerseyans,” Reed Gusciora, one of two openly gay New Jersey lawmakers and a sponsor of the bill, told the AP. “For all those who oppose marriage equality, their lives would have been completely unchanged by this bill, but for same-sex couples, their lives would have been radically transformed. Unfortunately, the governor couldn’t see past his own personal ambitions to honor this truth.”