Chris Christie’s antigay track record was a selling point at the Iowa Freedom Summit.
At the gathering of Republican leaders, which is regarded as the unofficial start of the presidential primary, Rep. Steve King introduced Christie with a list of the New Jersey governor’s conservative credentials. Among them was his past obstruction of same-sex marriage in the Garden State.
“He vetoed the gay marriage bill in New Jersey,” King said, in remarks reported by Time. “He is pro-life.”
In 2012 Christie vetoed a bill on same-sex marriage after the legislation passed in New Jersey’s Assembly and Senate. At the time, he defended his action by stating his belief that the issue should be left to the voters.
Same-sex marriage was ultimately recognized in New Jersey in October 2013, after a judge ruled that the state must recognize marriages between gay couples.
Christie has initially appealed the ruling, despite strong public support for same-sex marriage in his state. At the time, 61 percent of likely voters wanted him to drop the appeal, according to a poll by Quinnipiac University.
A poll released in March 2014 by the firm Rutgers-Eagleton found that 64 percent of New Jerseyans supported legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, while only 28 percent opposed.