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.
"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. "I continue to encourage the Legislature to trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing our citizens to vote on a question that represents a profoundly significant societal change. This is the only path to amend our State Constitution and the best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state."
Meanwhile, Maryland's State Assembly has passed a same-sex marriage bill, and that heads for the Maryland Senate, where's it's expected to pass and be signed into law by Dem Gov. Martin O'Malley...because he basically pushed the bill through.
The Civil Marriage Protection Act passed the House with support from a Prince George's County lawmaker who helped kill the bill last year by walking out of a voting session.
The House passage puts Maryland on the verge of being the eighth state to allow gay nuptials. The legislation still must be taken up in the Senate, which last year passed a similar bill and is expected do so again. The chamber will likely debate it next week.
One of these two men has a political future. The other will be remembered as one of the last holdouts in an ugly era of bigotry.