1776 Coalition :: Gov. Chris Christie, a Catholic, tiptoes on same sex marriage

Gov. Chris Christie, a Catholic, tiptoes on same sex marriage

by
July 18, 2013

As activists push states to recognize gay marriages, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — conservative Republican governor in a blue state and a 2016 presidential possibility — is walking a fine line between two electorates and two elections.

Christie vetoed same-sex marriage legislation last year and severely criticized the Supreme Court’s decision striking down a ban on federal rights for same-sex married couples. At the same time, he is “adamant” that same-sex couples deserve equal legal protection, wants a referendum on gay marriage, and vows to abide by a same-sex marriage law if New Jersey voters approve it.

He’s tiptoeing between constituencies. First are the voters of New Jersey: polls show they favor same-sex marriage, and Christie wants them to reelect him in November by a big margin.

Then there are Republican caucus-goers in Iowa. Christie needs their backing if he runs for president in 2016; in 2012, evangelical conservatives, who generally oppose gay marriage, made up 57 percent of Republican caucus-goers in the state, according to exit polls.

And there is a third group of voters to think about: swing voters across the nation, who might go for a Republican presidential nominee who is sufficiently centrist.

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