Appearing on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, which will air Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his decision to veto legislation that would have granted same sex couples all the marriage rights afforded to heterosexual couples.
The bill, the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act, was approved by the New Jersey Assembly last week. Christie, a possible vice presidential candidate, vetoed it the following day.
“My position is that marriage should be between one man and one woman,” he said. “That always has been my position and it remains so. I ran that way in 2009, told people that was an issue in the campaign, made myself very clear.”
Christie said he vetoed the bill because that is what he “promised to do” and it was “the right thing to do.”
He has called for the New Jersey legislature to draft a constitutional amendment and put the issue to a statewide vote.
“Let’s put it on the ballot, and let’s let people decide,” Christie told Morgan. “And if the people of New Jersey – as some of the same-sex marriage advocates suggest the polls indicate – are in favor of it, then my position would not be the winning position. But I’m willing to take that risk, because I trust the people of the state.”
Democrats have said it is wrong to put a civil right issue on the ballot and will fight to overturn the governor’s veto. They need to muster a two-thirds majority vote in both the Assembly and the Senate to override it.
When asked if he would ever change his mind, Christie said he would not compromise hi principles for politics.
“You’re saying ‘will it become politically unpopular to have the position I’m having.’ If it does, so be it.”
Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia have legalized same sex marriages.
Watch video, courtesy of CNN, below: