It was all too perfect. The same-sex marriage legislation passed with flying colors – until it landed on N.J. Governor Chris Christie’s desk late last week. Predictably, he vetoed the bill, saying he wants to leave the decision up to voters. As history has taught us, allowing voters to decide the fate of civil rights is always a bad idea. And it happened in New Jersey before when, in the early part of the 1900s, men were asked to decide the fate of women’s voting rights. Guess what? They voted against it and it was only until the issue was addressed on a federal level that women would see the right to vote many years later.
We have a feeling the same thing could happen with gay marriage if Obama is re-elected, even if he’s playing the gay marriage cards close to his chest during the campaign.
In the meantime, Christie may have lowered the flags for Whitney Houston this weekend throughout the Garden State, but he isn’t making any friends in the LGBT community as he quickly vetoed marriage. It seems as if he’s trying to get as far away from the issue as possible (to make way for a presidential run in four years, perhaps?). Universal thinking suggests that the GOP won’t go for a candidate that supports marriage equality, even as younger Republican moderates have compromised on gay issues, like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
And that’s why Bill Maher, a New Jersey native, had plenty to say about the governor’s decision recently. As host of HBO’s Real Time, he talked to a panel on the show Friday about the gay marriage issue in New Jersey, why it could hold the state back and if it’s a sign that Christie is eyeing the presidency.
Check it out (the gay marriage discussion begins after the five minute mark):