Right-wing activists are lashing out at Chris Christie for his decision not to continue his appeal of marriage equality in New Jersey.
The National Organization for Marriage released a statement criticizing the New Jersey governor for “effectively throwing in the towel” and “abandoning the rights of voters to determine the definition of marriage."
"An activist judiciary has once again imposed its views and ignored the rights of voters,” said Brian Brown, president of the conservative organization. “Regrettably, Governor Christie's decision to surrender on marriage reveals him to be a man who lacks the courage of his supposed convictions.”
Brown also claimed that Christie's decision not to further contest a pro–marriage equality court decision in New Jersey, which took effect Monday, has destroyed his chances of being a Republican presidential candidate.
“As far as we are concerned, it's a disqualifying failure,” Brown concluded. “His surrender on marriage effectively surrenders any chance he might have had to secure the GOP nomination for president."
The New Jersey legislature first passed marriage equality in February 2012, only to have Christie veto it the next day. The hard-charging Republican governor, who is up for reelection next month, opposed same-sex marriage and argued it should be put to a popular vote. Then a judge ruled in September that the New Jersey constitution doesn't allow the state to bar same-sex couples from wedding. Christie immediately appealed that decision.
Couples began marrying at midnight Monday because the state's Supreme Court declined to delay the effective date of the lower court's ruling. If Christie had gone forward with his appeal, it would have been heard in January and left open a chance he could succeed in stopping same-sex marriages. But Christie's spokesman said, according to The Star-Ledger, that the language of the Supreme Court ruling implied he'd lose because it "left no ambiguity about the unanimous court's view on the ultimate decision."