RENTON, NJ — A bill legalizing same-sex marriage in New Jersey was delivered Friday morning to Gov. Chris Christie, who has vowed to veto it.
The Assembly clerk’s office sent the bill to Christie a day after the chamber approved it 42-33, Assembly spokesman Tom Hester told The Associated Press. The Senate passed the gay marriage proposal on Monday.
Christie, a Republican who opposes gay marriage, had vowed “very swift action” once the bill reached his desk.
On Friday, Steven Goldstein, chairman of the state’s largest gay rights group, Garden State Equality, said Christie would veto the bill because of his national political ambitions.
“He won’t veto the bill because he’s anti-gay,” Goldstein said in a statement. “He’ll veto the bill because the 2016 South Carolina presidential primary electorate is anti-gay.”
Christie — and most Republican lawmakers — want the issue decided by public vote. One GOP lawmaker, Sen. Kip Bateman of Somerset, has proposed a ballot question asking voters to allow same-sex nuptials. However, Democrats who control the Legislature maintain that gay marriage is a civil right protected by the U.S. Constitution and isn’t subject to popular vote.
Six states and Washington, DC, allow gay marriage. Washington state’s new gay marriage law is set to go into effect in June.
Christie’s office hasn’t said when the governor plans to act. His spokesmen didn’t immediately return emails seeking comment Friday.