SEASIDE PARK – Gov. Chris Christie criticized Senate President Steve Sweeney Tuesday regarding the issue of same-sex marriage.
Earlier today, Sweeney and other Democrats talked about overriding the governor’s veto of same-sex marriage legislation, but Christie fired back this afternoon that this talk is coming from someone who abstained in 2009 when he had a chance to support same-sex marriage and when he had a Democratic governor in office in Jon Corzine.
Christie said if Sweeney believed so deeply in gay marriage then why did he abstain back then? “It makes me laugh,’’ he said during a groundbreaking and press conference in this peninsula town to usher in a massive road project post-Sandy.
“No one has to worry about my principles,’’ Christie said.
Christie said that he has always maintained the same opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman, he recognizes it is a difficult, emotional issue, and that the way to resolve the differences is not through legislation but by putting the question to the voters.
“They could’ve gotten this bill done in 2009,’’ Christie said.
Put it to the voters and he will abide by their decision, Christie told a crowd of hundreds.
He also dismissed accusations from Democrats that Christie controls the Republican lawmakers and won’t let them vote their conscience. He said it is an insult to Republican lawmakers to suggest they don’t vote their conscience.
Since the 2009 abstention, Sweeney has said it is the biggest regret of his political career. He also said earlier that he is against putting a civil rights issue up to popular vote.
In the wake of last week’s Supreme Court ruling invalidating portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex marriage supporters believe that they have new opportunities to change the law in New Jersey, either through legislative means or by arguments before the state Supreme Court.