Chris Christie Denounces DOMA Ruling

The New Jersey governor again says marriage equality is up to voters to decide, while his Democratic opponent's lesbian daughter blasts his stance.

BY Trudy Ring

June 27 2013 12:09 PM ET

Chris Christie; Tessa Bitterman

New Jersey governor Chris Christie is often touted as a different breed of Republican, more moderate than those who’ve come to dominate the party. But he’s nonetheless staunchly opposed to marriage equality, as he demonstrated in a radio broadcast Wednesday.

On his Ask the Governor radio show, he denounced the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act. “I don’t think the ruling was appropriate,” Christie said, adding that “changing an institution that’s over 2,000 years old” is something that should go before voters.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the case “was, in many respects, incredibly insulting to those people, 340-some members of Congress who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, and Bill Clinton,” who signed the bill into law as president in 1996, Christie continued. Clinton this year repudiated DOMA, and he released a statement yesterday praising the Supreme Court decision.

Christie, who is up for reelection this year and has been mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, last year vetoed a marriage equality bill and said the issue should be subject to a voter referendum. He has repeatedly said he opposes marriage rights for same-sex couples, but if New Jersey voters approved such rights, he would follow the law.

Meanwhile, the lesbian daughter of state senator Barbara Buono, the Democrat running against Christie for governor, blasted Christie’s stance on marriage equality via an email to supporters and a YouTube video.

“As a gay American, I have a stake in what our governor says about marriage equality,” Tessa Bitterman, a 22-year-old who is entering law school, wrote in the email, reports The Star-Ledger, a New Jersey newspaper. “And I have been deeply shocked by Chris Christie. As governor, he has been a giant roadblock to New Jersey achieving equality for all. By failing to support marriage equality, Christie is blatantly delegitimizing an entire group of people.” In the video, she said her mother, as governor, will “stop the bigoted policies that have been at the cornerstone of Chris Christie’s social agenda.”

A spokesman for Buono’s campaign said Bitterman has been open about her sexual orientation, but this was her first public discussion of it during the race.

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