Gov. Christie has "conditionally vetoed" the gay marriage bill that landed on his desk by rejecting gay marriage but offering a solution that he says will preserve civil rights.
His solution is to hire an ombudsman to monitor civil unions. Same-sex couples have been allowed to enter into civil unions since 2007, but it has been widely criticized as ineffective.
In a statement, Christie said: “I have been just as adamant that same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples – as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits...To that end, I include in my conditional veto the creation of a strong Ombudsman for Civil Unions to carry on New Jersey’s strong tradition of tolerance and fairness. The Ombudsman will be charged with increasing awareness of the law regarding civil unions, will provide a clear point of contact for those who have questions or concerns and will be required to report any evidence of the law being violated. In this way, we can ensure equal treatment under the law.”
Democrats would have to vote to approve Christie's offer, which is unlikely. Democrats also don't want to take up Christie's offer to put gay marriage on the ballot in November.
Democratic Assembly Majority Louis Greenwald just released this statement: "Thousands and thousands of New Jersey families are denied financial security, health security and fundamental equal rights every day because of a failed civil union experiment. And yet in spite of their second-class citizenship, the governor single-handedly - -through the stroke of his pen - seeks to codify discrimination against them...He has just violated his own oath of office. And in the end, he will answer to every New Jersey citizen for his actions."