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Chris Christie: A Mixed Record

Withdrew Candidacy

Chris Christie: A Mixed Record

As governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has shown a mixed record, opposing marriage equality for LGBT couples, but under his tenure, equality has advanced in New Jersey in other, uneven ways.

Marriage: As governor, Christie has drawn a consistent line opposing marriage equality. He vetoed a bill that would have allowed same-sex marriages to proceed in New Jersey, and even after a court ruling allowed same-sex marriages, said he opposed marriage equality – Christie favors civil unions for LGBT couples instead. Christie has stated he stopped defending New Jerseys same-sex marriage ban because “when I know Ive been defeated, you dont bang your head against the wall anymore and spend taxpayer money to do it.” Nevertheless, same-sex marriage became legal in New Jersey under Chris Christies watch.

Discrimination: Suggested he supported New Jerseys existing laws that protect LGBT residents from workplace and housing discrimination.

Executive OrderUnclear

Conversion Therapy: Christie signed into law a ban on conversion therapy in New Jersey, and has stated that he agrees with the American Psychological Association that the practice exposes children to serious health risks.

Harmful Rhetoric: Unlike many candidates, Christie has generally said that he believes sexual orientation is determined at birth.

Adoption: Christie has ducked the question on adoption by same-sex couples, and vetoed a bill that would have relaxed restrictions on surrogate pregnancies.

Anti-bullying: Christie was credited with signing one of the “toughest” anti-bullying measures in the country.

Christies Notable Quotes on LGBT Equality

Christie Said Putting Same-Sex Marriage On Ballot Instead Of Legislative Vote Was “The Bargain Of Your Life….How Much More Magnanimous Can I Be?” Think Progress reported that at an appearance in Denville, Christie said, “If the majority of the people want [same-sex marriage] prove it. Put it on the ballot, let it be voted on….Ive told every Republican in the state legislator to vote to put it on the ballot. They need three-fifths to put it on the ballot. The Republicans have two-fifths in the legislature. So that means the Democrats only need to come up with one-fifth of the legislature…this is the bargain of your life. Im giving you two-fifths! And the polls they show me say that if it goes on the ballot, it will lose. How much more magnanimous can I be? What else do you want me to do? Go campaign for it too? Look, Im doing the best I can here.” [Think Progress, 2/3/2012]

When Asked By A Voter Why He Opposed Same-Sex Marriage Because It Was A Human Rights Issue, Christie Responded “Says You” And Suggested She Vote For Someone Else. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, during a visit at an Edison diner, “Up to that point, Republican loyalists and diner-goers were angling for selfies with, and autographs from, Christie. Then he got to Bueno's table. She immediately asked him why he opposed gay marriage and vetoed a bill that would have legalized it. He said that he wants voters to decide the issue on the ballot. ‘This is different from gun control and taxes -- this is a human rights issue,Bueno said. ‘Says you,’ Christie said. ‘It is,’ she retorted. ‘If you're waiting to find a candidate you're going to agree with every time, go home and look at the mirror,’ Christie said. Or, ‘if that's your most important issue, then you can vote for the other person.’”[Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/8/2013]

Christie Said He Believes People Are Born Gay And That Homosexuality Is Not A Sin. According to the Associated Press, “In a signing note accompanying the bill that will be made public Monday, Christie said he believes people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin. That view is inconsistent with his Catholic faith, which teaches that homosexual acts are sins.” [Associated Press, 8/19/2013]

 

Christie on the Issues

  • President Obama’s Executive Orders: Unclear

  • LGBT Adoption: Unclear


Significant Findings on Marriage Equality

  • As Governor, vetoed a bill allowing same-sex marriage
     

  • Said he believes marriage is a “special” relationship between one man and one woman, but supported civil unions for LGBT couples

 

  • Opposed Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

 

  • Declined to meet with LGBT groups during marriage fight, saying he had gay friends and relatives and he didn’t think a conversation would change his views

 

  • Disagreed that marriage equality was a human rights issue

 

  • Did not appeal a court ruling striking New Jersey same-sex marriage ban, effectively allowing same-sex marriages to proceed

 

  • Said even if child was gay, he would tell them he opposed marriage equality

 

  • Said he remained opposed to same-sex marriages after court ruling allowed them to proceed

 

  • Said marriage should be a state issue not decided by the Supreme Court


 

Christie Said “I Just Think Marriage Is A Special Connotation. And I Couldnt See Myself Changing My Mind On That” In an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN: “MORGAN: You support civil unions, but you don't support gay marriage. Can you see a situation where you would change your mind about that? CHRISTIE: I don't think so. I believe marriage is an institution between one man and one woman. I think it's special and unique in society. And I think we can have civil unions that can help to give the same type of legal rights to same-sex couples that marriage gives them. But I just think marriage is a special connotation. And I couldn't see myself changing my mind on that. But I am in favor of making sure that homosexual couples have the same type of legal rights that same -- that heterosexual couples have.” [CNN, Piers Morgan Tonight, 6/14/2011, VIDEO]

Christie Said Putting Same-Sex Marriage On Ballot Instead Of Legislative Vote Was “The Bargain Of Your Life….How Much More Magnanimous Can I Be?” ThinkProgress reported that at an appearance in Denville, Christie said, “If the majority of the people want [same-sex marriage] prove it. Put it on the ballot, let it be voted on….Ive told every Republican in the state legislator to vote to put it on the ballot. They need three-fifths to put it on the ballot. The Republicans have two-fifths in the legislature. So that means the Democrats only need to come up with one-fifth of the legislature…this is the bargain of your life. Im giving you two-fifths! And the polls they show me say that if it goes on the ballot, it will lose. How much more magnanimous can I be? What else do you want me to do? Go campaign for it too? Look, Im doing the best I can here.” [Think Progress, 2/3/2012]


Christie Vetoed New Jersey Legislature Bill Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage, Calling It For It To Be Voted On By Ballot Referendum Instead. According to the New York Times, “Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a newly passed bill on Friday that would legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey, setting a difficult path for advocates who vowed to fight ‘with every last breath’rto override him. The governors veto was conditional, asking the State Legislature to amend the bill, so that rather than legalizing same-sex marriages, it would establish an overseer to handle complaints that the states five-year-old civil union law did not provide gay and lesbian couples the same protections that marriage would. Mr. Christie also affirmed his call for the Legislature to put a referendum on same-sex marriage on the ballot in November. ‘An issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide,the governor said in a statement.” [New York Times, 2/17/2012]

Christie Told Student “I Did Veto A Bill On Gay Marriage, But Not On Gay Rights.” According to Think Progress, at an event at Fort Lee High School Christie was asked about his veto of a same-sex marriage bill. Christie responded, “I did veto a bill on gay marriage, not on gay rights. And gay rights are protected and protected aggressively in New Jersey. But listen, this is something I feel strongly about. I think marriage is between one man and one woman, but I also know that people have very different opinions about that in our state. So what Ive said to folks after vetoing the bill, lets put it on the ballot. If a majority of people in New Jersey want to have same-sex marriage, then vote for it and Ill be governed by it. But I dont think thats a decision that should be made by 121 people in Trenton alone. Its a major change in the way weve governed our society.” [Think Progress, 3/2/2012]

Chris Christie Called Supreme Court Decision Striking Key Provisions of Defense Of Marriage Act A “Bad Decision” That Was “Incredibly Insulting” And An Act Of “Judicial Supremacy.” According to Salon: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R, slammed the Supreme Courts decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, calling it a ‘bad decision’ethats just another example of ‘judicial supremacy.’ jIts just another example of judicial supremacy rather than having the government run by the people we actually vote for,” he said on NJ 101.5 FM, the Star-Ledger reports. ‘I thought it was a bad decision.He continued: ‘I thought that Justice (Anthony) Kennedys opinion in many respects was incredibly insulting to those people, 340-some members of Congress who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, and Bill Clinton. They basically said the only reason to pass that bill was to demean people.’” [Salon, 6/27/2013]

Christie On Preferring Marriage Equality By Ballot Referendum Over Legislative Action “I Dont Have To Compromise My Principles That I Believe In And Someone Else Doesnt Have To Compromise Theirs.” According to USA Today: “Christie, who is Roman Catholic, has said he does not believe being gay is a choice, nor is it a sin, and that he has gay friends who argue the issue with him. Marriage, he said last year on CNN, is ‘special and unique in society.’ He followed his veto in of the gay-marriage bill in February 2012 with a call for a statewide referendum on whether to allow same-sex marriage by constitutional amendment. ‘When you want to change the core of a 2,000 year-old institution, the way to do that is to put it in front of the voters,' he told reporters July 2. A referendum would allow same-sex marriage to pass in New Jersey without his fingerprints — or as he said at a town-hall-style meeting last month: ‘I don't have to compromise my principles that I believe in and someone else doesn't have to compromise theirs.’” [USA Today, 7/15/2013]

Christie Justified Ballot Referendum On Marriage Equality After Vetoing Bill Because “When You Want To Change The Core Of A 2,000 Year-Old Institution, The Way To Do That Is To Put It In Front Of Voters.” According to USA Today: “Christie, who is Roman Catholic, has said he does not believe being gay is a choice, nor is it a sin, and that he has gay friends who argue the issue with him. Marriage, he said last year on CNN, is "special and unique in society.'' He followed his veto in of the gay-marriage bill in February 2012 with a call for a statewide referendum on whether to allow same-sex marriage by constitutional amendment. ‘When you want to change the core of a 2,000 year-old institution, the way to do that is to put it in front of the voters,’ he told reporters July 2.” [USA Today, 7/15/2013]

Christie Appealed Judges Ruling Allowing Same-Sex Marriage, Against Wishes Of Same-Sex Marriage Advocates. According to the Associated Press: “Gov. Chris Christie's administration on Monday asked New Jersey's top state court to take an appeal of a judge's ruling that the state must allow gay marriage. Citing "far-reaching implications," Acting Attorney General John Hoffman…. said he is also asking the judge who issued the decision Friday to grant a stay, delaying the implementation date from Oct. 21 until the matter can be settled. An appeal from Christie's administration is no surprise. Within hours of the ruling, Christie's spokesman issued a statement saying he did not intend to let the trial court order stand in an issue in an issue that has been fought repeatedly both in New Jersey's courts and Legislature. Advocates for gay marriage did not want Christie, a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, to continue his fight against allowing same-sex couples to tie the knot in New Jersey. But they do want the issue fast-tracked to the state's top court if he does continue to fight it.” [Associated Press, 9/30/2013]

Christie, When Asked To Meet With Gay And Lesbian Group Said “I Have Relatives Who Are Gay. I Have Friends Who Are Gay. I Can Sit Down And Have A Conversation, But I Dont Think Its Going To Change My View.” After Christie told a voter to vote for someone else if she cared about same-sex marriage at a visit in Edison, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that “She asked if he would sit down with a group of gays and lesbians to allow himself to be convinced of the other side. Christie demurred. ‘I have relatives who are gay. I have friends who are gay. I can sit down and have a conversation, but I don't think it's going to change my view,’ the governor said.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/8/2013]

When Asked By A Voter Why He Opposed Same-Sex Marriage Because It Was A Human Rights Issue, Christie Responded “Says You” And Suggested She Vote For Someone Else. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, during a visit at an Edison diner: “Up to that point, Republican loyalists and diner-goers were angling for selfies with, and autographs from, Christie. Then he got to Bueno's table. She immediately asked him why he opposed gay marriage and vetoed a bill that would have legalized it. He said that he wants voters to decide the issue on the ballot. ‘This is different from gun control and taxes -- this is a human rights issue,’ Bueno said. ‘Says you,’ Christie said. ‘It is,’ she retorted. ‘If you're waiting to find a candidate you're going to agree with every time, go home and look at the mirror,’ Christie said. Or, ‘if that's your most important issue, then you can vote for the other person.’” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/8/2013]

Despite Opposition, Christie Withdrew Appeal After Court Unanimously Refused To Delay Start Of Same-Sex Marriages Pending Christies Appeal, Paving Way For Legal Same-Sex Marriage. According to the Associated Press: “Christie remains personally opposed to gay marriage. He vetoed a bill approved by the legislature last year to legalize the practice. When a trial-level judge ruled last month that the state must allow same-sex couples to wed, Christie appealed that ruling to the state Supreme Court. The high court agreed to take up the case but unanimously refused to delay the start of gay weddings in the meantime, saying the state had little chance of prevailing in its appeal. And just hours after gay couples began exchanging vows on Monday, Christie announced that he was withdrawing his appeal.The decision makes New Jersey the 14th state to legalize gay marriage.” [Associated Press, 10/22/2013]

  • Court Ruled That Christie’s Attorney Had Met None Of The Criteria For A Stay On Same-Sex Marriage Ruling. According to the Star-Ledger, “The Supreme Court was only ruling on a stay, or a delay, that Christie wanted while he pursued an appeal. But even in those cases, the courts have to produce detailed legal opinions that address the fundamentals of a case. Christie, for example, had to show he was likely to succeed in his appeal, that New Jersey would suffer ‘irreparable harm’ if weddings began before the court proceedings ended, that a delay was ‘in the public interest,’ among other requirements. Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson, who first ruled to allow gay marriage in September, said the state attorney general had met none of the criteria, and that, as in California, no harm would come from allowing and then barring gay couples from being able to marry. ‘Like Judge Jacobson, we can find no public interest in depriving a group of New Jersey residents of their constitutional right to equal protection while the appeals process unfolds,’ Rabner wrote.” [Newark Star-Ledger, 10/13/2013]

Christie Said That If His Child Came Out As Gay, He Would “Grab Them And Hug Them And Tell Them I Love Them” And Also “That Dad Believes That Marriage Is Between One Man And One Woman.” According to Politico: “Republican Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that if one of his four children came out as gay, he would ‘grab them and hug them and tell them I love them.He would also tell them ‘that Dad believes that marriage is between one man and one woman,’ he said. New Jersey governors comments came in a debate at Montclair State University in Montclair — his second and final one against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono — after the state Supreme Court agreed to weigh his administrations appeal of a ruling to allow gay marriage….‘My children understand that there are going to be differences of opinion in our house and in houses all across this state and across this country,Christie said. He said he would respect voters if they approved gay marriage, but said the decision does not belong to the courts or the legislature.” [Politico,10/15/2013]

Christie Said He ‘Strongly Disagrees’ With The Courts Decision Repealing Same-Sex Marriage Ban, But That The Court Had Clearly Expressed Their View And He Would Drop Appeal Of Decision. According to the Associated Press, “Advisers to the governor said that in dropping the appeal, Christie stayed true to his principles. ‘Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law,’AChristie spokesman Michael Drewniak said in a statement.” [Associated Press, 10/22/2013]

Christie Stated He Didnt Defend Same-Sex Marriage Ban Because He Knew Hed Been Defeated, Didnt Want to “Bang Your Head Against the Wall.” Christie, who opposes same-sex marriage, drew flak from conservatives for deciding to halt a court battle over the issue last year. He said Saturday that he made the call because he would have lost anyway. ‘When I know that Ive been defeated, you dont bang your head against the wall anymore and spend taxpayer money to do it,said Christie, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate. The governor said the issue should be left to the states, noting that ‘an overwhelming majority of states currently still ban same-sex marriage.’” [Politico, 7/12/14]

  • Christie Said On Same-Sex Marriage: “Absent A Change In The Legislature, I Think At The Moment Its Settled Law In New Jersey.” Christie dropped a legal fight to block same-sex marriage in New Jersey in 2013 after the State Supreme Court indicated it would not stop the unions, saying now: ‘Yeah, it is a settled issue in New Jersey….When I know that Ive been defeated you dont bang your head against a wall and spend taxpayer money to do it,he said, explaining his decision. ‘Absent a change in the legislature, I think at the moment its settled law in New Jersey.’ Asked whether the country could resolve in favor of traditional marriage despite the momentum behind the ‘marriage equality’ movement, Christie replied ‘I don’t know, I dont have a crystal ball.’” [Time, 7/12/2014]

Christie: “I Dont Think Theres Some Referee” Who Gets To Tell GOP To Stop Debating Same-Sex Marriage. According to Politico: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Saturday that the GOP shouldnt stop debating same-sex marriage, despite shifting national attitudes and a string of court decisions that have overturned gay marriage bans. ‘I don’t think theres some referee who stands up and says, ‘OK, now its time for you to change your opinion,he told reporters at a gathering of the National Governors Association in Nashville. ‘The country will resolve this over a period of time. But do I think its resolved? No.’” [Politico, 7/12/14]

  • Christie Reiterated “Certainly Im Not Going To [Stop Opposing Same-Sex Marriage] Because These Are Opinions I Feel Strongly About” And “It Should Be Done State By State.” According to Time Magazine: “Speaking to reporters at the National Governors Association, Christie said it is not time for Republicans to drop the issue, which is entrenched in the partys platform but contributes to the partys difficulty with younger voters. “I don’t think that theres going to be some major referee whos going to say now its time to stop,he said, referencing his own opposition to the unions. ‘Certainly Im not going to, because these are opinions that I feel strongly about. The country will resolve this over a period of time,’ he added, saying it is important for people to respect those who disagree with them on the issue. “But do I think its resolved now? No.” Christie, seen as an all-but-certain candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, said the party should not attempt a national campaign on the issue. ‘It should be done state by state,he said.” [Time, 7/12/2014]

Christie Declined To Respond To Supreme Court Decision Not To Hear Appeals Of Same-Sex Marriage Bans, Saying “I Havent Had A Chance To Read It.” According to the Star-Ledger: “Gov. Chris Christie declined to give an opinion on the Supreme Court decision today that cleared the way for gay marriage expansion in the U.S. The governor, speaking at a campaign event in Connecticut for a GOP gubernatorial hopeful, had little to say when asked to comment on the U.S. Supreme Courts decision not to hear appeals of lower-court rulings that legalized same-sex marriage in five states. ‘I havent had a chance to read it,Christie responded when asked to give his thoughts on the decision. ‘All I saw was the headline when I was coming up here, so I dont give comments based on headlines,’ Christie said.” [New Jersey Star-Ledger, 10/6/2014]

Christie Said “I Do Not Believe That [Same-Sex Marriage] Is Something That Should Be Imposed From the United States Supreme Court Down To The States.” According to the Star-Ledger: “The governor made the statement less than a week after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for gay marriage expansion in some states by refusing to hear appeals to repeal same-sex marriage cases from lower-level courts. ‘Weve resolved that issue in New Jersey through the courts,’ [Christie] said. ‘We are now moving forward as an administration in terms of enforcing the law as the court has interpreted it and each state should their opportunity to be able to make that decision through their process.’ However, Christie said gay marriage shouldnt be decided by the nations high court. ‘I do not believe that this is something that should be imposed from the United States Supreme Court down to the states,he said.” [New Jersey Star-Ledger, 10/9/2014]

Christie Said It Shouldnt Be Up To The Supreme Court To Decide Whether States Allow Same-Sex Marriage. According to the Associated Press: “Gov. Chris Christie says it shouldnt be up to the Supreme Court to decide whether states allow gay marriage. The Republican governor weighed in Thursday on the courts decision this week not to hear appeals from a handful of states, paving the way for a significant expansion across the country. But Christie told reporters he doesnt believe gay marriage is something that should be imposed by the highest court. He said states should have the ability to decide the issue on their own. Christie personally opposes same-sex marriage but dropped his administrations legal challenge to a lower courts decision allowing it last year. He said he has been upholding the law since then.” [Associated Press, 10/10/2014]

Christie Said Marriage Should Be Decided By States “Not Imposed Upon Them By A Group Of Lawyers Sitting In Black Robes” But Decision Is Law Of The Land And “Those Of Us Who Take An Oath Have A Responsibility To Abide By That Oath.” Asked for his reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality in Obergefell, Christie said: “This is something that shouldn’t be decided by a group of lawyers but should be decided by the people. So I agree with the dissent that Chief Justice Roberts authored today. I think this is something that should be decided by the people of each state and not imposed upon them by a group of lawyers sitting in black robes at the U.S. Supreme Court. That being said, those five lawyers get to impose it under our system, and so our job is going to be to support the law of the land, and that under the Supreme Court’s ruling is now the law of the land. But I don’t agree with the way it’s been done. But I take an oath and the same way that I’ve supported and enforced the law here in New Jersey since our Supreme Court made their 7-0 decision on same-sex marriage and I’ve supported it and endorsed that law, I would have to do the same across the country, but I want to be clear that I don’t agree with the way that it was done but it’s been done and those of us who take an oath have a responsibility to abide by that oath.” [NJ.com, 6/26/2015; VIDEO]

Christie Said He Believed Marriage Was Between A Man And A Woman And “If There Are Going To Be Changes They Should Be Done By A Vote Of The People.” According to the New York Post, “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination weighed in. ‘I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,’ he said. ‘If there are going to be changes, they should be done by a vote of the people.’” [New York Post, 6/26/2015]


Christie Said “Christie-Type Justices” On The Supreme Court Would Not Have Legalized Same-Sex Marriage And His Appointments Made New Jersey Supreme Court More Conservative. In an interview with Fox News Sunday, asked about his judicial appointments, Christie said “And it's a deal that I made so that I could get three conservative Republicans on the court. And you mentioned the pension ruling before, those three Republicans were in that 5-person majority that upheld our pension and benefit reforms and said in their decision that the judiciary has no business meddling in the business of the executive and legislative branches. That's in the opinion. If we had those kind of justices and more of them we would not have had the same-sex marriage decision that we had last week and we wouldn’t have had the Obamacare decision. So, if the Christie type of judges had been on that court in the majority, we would have won those cases in the Supreme Court rather than lost them. So, those critics are always going to be critics, because you know why? They never have to do anything. I'm someone who has to get something done. I got it done and I've made the supreme court of New Jersey more conservative.” [Fox News Sunday; 7/5/2015; VIDEO]

Christie Disagreed With Concept Of Judicial Retention Elections For Supreme Court Nominees, But Was Open To Having Justices Serve Seven Year Terms. Asked by Fox News Sunday whether he agreed with Ted Cruz on judicial retention elections for Supreme Court nominees, Christie said: “Yes, I don't think we should elect Supreme Court justices, no. Listen, what we -- something we do in New Jersey, which I think is something that folks can consider is we appoint our justices for a seven-year term. And then after seven years, the governor has the opportunity to again consider whether to nominate them then for a lifetime tenure. I don't want to see judges raising money and running for election. I would, though, trust the executive after seven years, like we do in New Jersey, to decide whether or not to reappoint people. I'm the first governor in New Jersey's constitutional history to not reappoint two supreme court justices. I wanted to go in another direction. That can work. I've done it in New Jersey. But I don't believe we should be putting judges on the ballot. I think that having United States Supreme Court justices running national elections, I don’t think that would be the right thing. I just disagree with Senator Cruz.” [Fox News Sunday; 7/5/2015; VIDEO]

Significant Findings on Discrimination Protections for LGBT Americans

  • In vetoing marriage equality, Christie invoked his support for New Jersey’s anti-discrimination laws

 

  • Christie believes that civil unions do not discriminate


Christie Said Same-Sex Couples Deserved Same Benefits As Married Couples But Argued That Civil Unions Did Not Discriminate. According to the New York Times: “At the same time, Mr. Christie repeated what the State Supreme Court said in 2006 — that same-sex couples deserve the same benefits enjoyed by married couples. Answering testimony that same-sex couples in civil unions had more trouble than married couples in matters like obtaining mortgages and making health care decisions, the governor said he wanted to set up a new ombudsman to make sure gay and lesbian couples did not suffer discrimination. But he argued that civil unions did not discriminate, saying there had been only 13 complaints about the law since it was passed in 2006, compared with 1,300 complaints about discrimination based on disability and 1,200 based on race.” [New York Times, 2/17/2012]

Christie Told Student: “I Did Veto A Bill On Gay Marriage, But Not On Gay Rights.” According to Think Progress, at an event at Fort Lee High School Christie was asked about his veto of a same-sex marriage bill. Christie responded, “I did veto a bill on gay marriage, not on gay rights. And gay rights are protected an protected aggressively in New Jersey. But listen, this is something I feel strongly about. I think marriage is between one man and one woman, but I also know that people have very different opinions about that in our state. So what Ive said to folks after vetoing the bill, lets put it on the ballot. If a majority of people in New Jersey want to have same-sex marriage, then vote for it and Ill be governed by it. But I dont think thats a decision that should be made by 121 people in Trenton alone. Its a major change in the way weve governed our society.” [Think Progress, 3/2/2012]

Christie Said He Did Not Believe Indiana Governor Would Intentionally Be Discriminatory with RFRA Law, And Would “Fix The Problem And Move On.” In response to the controversy of Indiana’s RFRA law that could lead to businesses denying services to LGBT people, Christie said, “‘Well, we should not have a situation where people perceive that anybody will be denied service. But, I can tell you this, I know Mike Pence, and he's got nothing but love in his heart for people and I just do not believe that in any way Mike Pence would intend for anything that happen in his state on his watch to be discriminatory towards any person,’ Christie said in a statement. ‘And so, my guess is that he'll fix the problem and move on,’ Christie said. ‘Because that's the kind of guy he is. I will tell you, amongst the governors, there is nobody that I've met amongst the governors who is more sincere in his faith and in his love for people than Mike Pence. So, I just don't believe any of this stuff is true and to the extent that something needs to be fixed to clarify that no one will be denied service for discriminatory reasons, I'm sure that's exactly what Mike will do.’” [Newark Star-Ledger, 4/1/2015]

Christie Said Clerks Should Not Be Allowed To Opt Out Of Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Certificates Because “They Kind Of Have To Do Their Job, Whether You Agree With The Law Or You Don’t.”
Time reported that “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie broke with many in his party’s social conservative wing Wednesday, telling reporters that government employees who have objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses should not be allowed to opt out. While many conservatives have called for steps to protect government employees who have objections to Friday’s same-sex marriage ruling from the Supreme Court, Christie said those who work for the government should abide by their oaths. ‘I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,’ Christie told reporters following a town hall at a lakeside home, noting there are laws that he enforces as governor that he disagrees with. ‘I’m sure there are individual circumstances that might merit some examination,’ he added, ‘but none that come immediately to mind for me.’” [Time, 7/1/2015]


Christie Said Of Clerks Who Object To Same-Sex Marriage Licenses “You Took The Job And You Took The Oath…It Doesn’t Give You An Out.” Time reported that “When asked about protection for clerks who object to providing same-sex marriage licenses, Christie implied that there could be specific accommodations made for religious exemptions on a case-by-case basis. But overall, he said those trying to opt out should rethink how they are doing their jobs. ‘You took the job and you took the oath,’ he said. ‘When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it.’” [Time, 7/1/2015]

Christie Said “We Have A System Of Laws In This Country, And Those Laws Need To Be Followed…. Businesses Should Not Be Allowed To Discriminate, No.” At the Des Moines Register Iowa Soapbox, Christie said: “We have a system of laws in this country, and those laws need to be followed. And the fact is, religious organizations should be protected from having to do anything that violates their religious beliefs as a religious organization.  That should be protected. But other businesses who want to do business, they should have to be able to do business under the laws of our country. When I take an oath of office as Governor, my oath of office is to enforce the laws of the state of New Jersey. Not the laws I like or the laws that I agree with, but all the laws. And if we don’t want to have a country of men and women but a country of laws, where everyone is treated equally, that’s what we need to do. Religious organizations absolutely should be protected, everyone should freely practice their religion the way they see fit, but businesses should not be allowed to discriminate, no.” [Des Moines Register, Iowa Soapbox, 8/22/2015; VIDEO]

Asked If Businesses Should Be Allowed To Discriminate Based On Religious Freedom, Christie Said “We Need To Enforce The Law In This Country In Every Respect, Not Just The Laws We Like, But All The Laws.” Asked on Fox News Sunday “Should businesses be allowed to decide whether or not to serve gays or anyone else based on religious freedom?” Christie said: “Religious institutions should be able to decide how they conduct their religious activity.  The rest of the folks in the United States need to follow the law.  […] I'm someone in this country who believes in law and order.  I'm a former prosecutor.  I'm the only former prosecutor on that stage in California.  We need to enforce the law in this country in every respect, not just the laws we like, but all the laws.  This way we won't have sanctuary cities in this country when I'm president of the United States, and we won't have people getting high on marijuana in Colorado and Washington if the federal law says you shouldn't.” [Fox News Sunday, 8/30/2015; VIDEO]


Christie Said Government Employees Like Kentucky Clerk Refusing To Issue Marriage Licenses Have A “Bit Of A Different Obligation” Than Regular Citizens. Politico reported that “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took a similar stance to Fiorina's, saying that government employees have a ‘bit of a different obligation’ than regular citizens. Speaking during a radio interview with Laura Ingraham on Wednesday, Christie said it’s important both to allow for the exercise of religious freedom and to enforce the law.” [Politico, 9/2/2015; Laura Ingraham, 9/2/2015; AUDIO]

Christie Said “The Constitution Comes First” And That Kentucky Clerks “Selected A Job Where This Puts Her In A Very, Very Difficult Position” And Government Employees Have A “Different Obligation.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave a response that avoided taking a direct side but seemed to agree partly with Graham and Fiorina. He said in a Wednesday interview on conservative pundit Laura Ingraham’s radio show that those who work in government have a ‘different obligation’ than those who work in the private sector or for a religious organization. He stressed, however, the need to ‘balance’ religious liberty with the rule of law. ‘Every American has the right to free exercise of their religious beliefs,’ Christie told Ingraham. ‘The fact though is, Laura, she has also selected a job where this puts her in a very, very difficult position, and the courts and their decision have put them in a difficult position. ‘But we’ve got to first look at making sure we protect the constitutional rights, everybody’s constitutional rights, and we have to balance whatever steps we take off of what we have to do to enforce the laws as well,’ Christie added. ‘And so this is a very difficult period for people to be going through, but we’ve got to remember that the Constitution comes first.’” [MSNBC, 9/2/2015; Laura Ingraham, 9/2/2015; AUDIO]

Christie Said Kim Davis Should Be Moved To A Different Government Job Where Her Religious Objections Were Not An Issue, But That Licenses Have To Be Issued. The Washington Times reported: “Mr. Christie said first off, the country must be protective of religious liberty and that the Constitution has to be protected. ‘People have a right to practice their religion,’ the 2016 GOP presidential contender said on ‘Fox and Friends.’ ‘Now, I’ve said what I would do with this woman is to move her to another job where this is not an objection for her. Because you have to follow the law.’ ‘And the law has to be these licenses have to be issued,’ he said. ‘If she has a religious objection, we should move her to another job inside the government.’ And what if she refuses to go? ‘Well, you know, then there’s going to be an issue,’ he said. ‘But I think we should give her an option to do another job where her religious concerns are not [going to] be put into the crosshairs on this. And so we have to have respect for people, but … the government also has to function.’” [Washington Times, 9/8/2015; Fox and Friends, 9/8/2015; VIDEO]

Christie Said That Although Government Employees Should Have Not Be Allowed To Refuse Marriage Licenses, Caterers Or Florists Who Were Punished For Not Providing Services Would Be Victims Of Discrimination. At a Heritage Action Forum in Greenville, SC, North Jersey reported: “Governor Christie told a conservative forum Friday that private businesses with religious objections to gay marriage would be victims of discrimination if they were punished for not providing services at gay weddings…..Christie, whose administration chose not to appeal a court ruling legalizing gay marriage in New Jersey as far as he could have, said he believed that government employees should not have a choice to refuse to provide marriage licenses. But he took a different tack when asked about caterers or florists. ‘We can’t allow any type of discrimination in this country, and the left only looks at discrimination coming from one way. There’s discrimination that goes in both directions, and that shouldn’t be permitted in this country,’ Christie said. ‘The free exercise of religion means something, and we need to be able to stand up and do the right thing for folks and protect them ... because tomorrow, they could be coming at you for your religious beliefs,’ Christie said.” [North Jersey.com, 9/18/2015]


 

 

Significant Findings on Dangerous “Conversion Therapy”

  • Initially was undecided on whether to ban conversion therapy for minors

 

  • Said he opposed conversion therapy because he believes sexual orientation is determined at birth

 

  • Later signed a bill banning conversion therapy for minors in New Jersey, citing health risks.

 


Christie Was Undecided On Whether To Sign Conversion Therapy Ban, Citing Deference To Parents Raising Their Children. New York Magazine reported that Christie was undecided about whether to sign bill banning the practice of conversion therapy. “Christie says that he ‘does not believe in conversion therapy,’ but hasn't decided whether or not to sign the bill into law. On Wednesday, he explained his dilemma: ‘Im of two minds just on this stuff in general. Number one, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children,Christie said at the press conference. ‘Generally, philosophically, on bills that restrict parents’ ability to make decisions on how to care for their children, Im generally a skeptic of those bills. Now, there can always be exceptions to those rules and this bill may be one of them.’” [New York Magazine, 3/22/2013]

Christie Spokesperson Released A Statement Saying Christie Did Not Believe In Conversion Therapy And Believes Sexual Orientation Is Determined At Birth. According to Think Progress: Christie spokesperson Kevin Roberts said, “Gov. Christie does not believe in conversion therapy. There is no mistaking his point of view on this when you look at his own prior statements where he makes clear that peoples sexual orientation is determined at birth.” [Think Progress, 3/22/2013]

Christie Banned Conversion Therapy For Minors in New Jersey, Saying “I Believe Exposing Children To These Health Risks Without Clear Evidence Of Benefits That Outweigh Those Serious Risks Is Not Appropriate.” According to CNN, “In explaining his decision to ban gay conversion therapy for minors, Christie is expected to emphasize that while he is wary of the “government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children,” on this particular issue he sided with the experts. The New Jersey senate passed the legislation in late July, but as with any legislation, it ultimately requires Christies final approval. ‘The American Psychological Association has found that efforts to change sexual orientations can pose critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts,Christie will say in his signing statement, according to an advanced copy provided to CNN. ‘I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.’ A Catholic, Christie in the past has stated his opposition to gay conversion therapy and in a June 2011 interview on CNN said he did not think homosexuality is a sin.” [CNN, Political Ticker, 8/19/2013]


Significant Findings on Rhetoric and Intolerance

  • Believes LGBT Americans are “born that way” and that homosexuality is not a sin.

 

  • Disagreed with Rick Perry, who compared homosexuality to a disease like alcoholism


 


 

Christie Said Despite His Catholic Religion Calling Homosexuality A Sin, “I Think If Someone Is Born That Way, Its Very Difficult To Say Then That Thats A Sin.” In an interview with Piers Morgan, when asked if homosexuality was a sin, Christie responded, “Well, my religion says it's a sin. I mean, I think—but for me, I don't. I've always believed that people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual. And so, I think if someone is born that way, it's very difficult to say then that that's a sin. But I understand that my church says that. But for me personally, I don't look upon someone who is homosexual as a sinner.” [CNN, Piers Morgan Tonight, 6/14/2011, VIDEO]

Christie Said He Believes People Are Born Gay And That Homosexuality Is Not A Sin. According to the Associated Press: “In a signing note accompanying the bill that will be made public Monday, Christie said he believes people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin. That view is inconsistent with his Catholic faith, which teaches that homosexual acts are sins.” [Associated Press, 8/19/2013]

Christie Disagreed With Rick Perrys Comparison Of Homosexuality To Alcoholism, Saying “I Dont Believe Thats An Apt Analogy And Not One That Should Be Made.” According to the Los Angeles Times: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who signed legislation barring ‘gay conversion therapy’ in his state, disagreed Friday with Texas Gov. Rick Perrys comparison of homosexuality to alcoholism, saying it was wrong. ‘I disagree with him, and I dont believe thats an apt analogy and not one that should be made,Christie said during a San Francisco campaign appearance alongside Neel Kashkari, the GOP candidate for California governor. Christie, who is head of the Republican Governors Assn., declined, however, to speak for the organization and its members. ‘Every governor and public official has to speak for themselves on these issues,’‘Christie told reporters. ‘I just spoke myself.’” [Los Angeles Times, 6/13/2014]


Significant Findings on Bullying and Adoption

  • Christie repeatedly ducked questions on adoption by same-sex couples
     

  • Vetoed a surrogate-pregnancy bill that would have made it easier for same-sex couples to adopt a child from a surrogate parent
     

  • Called suicide of Tyler Clementi “unacceptable,” signed anti-bullying bill
     

  • Called teachers and coaches who used homophobic slurs “disturbing” and said they should not be around students


 

Christie Refused To Respond To Questions Over Whether He Supported Same-Sex Adoption. CNS News, following an interview with Christie where he came out against same-sex marriage and in favor of civil unions, reported: “Left unasked and unanswered was the question: Does Christie support adoption by homosexual couples? CNSNews.com contacted Christies office multiple times over the last several days to inquire whether he supports adoption for same-sex couples, but received no response. Current law in New Jersey allows same-sex couples to adopt.” [CNSNews.com, 6/21/2011]

Christie Vetoed Law Relaxing Restrictions On Gestational Surrogate Pregnancies. According to the Star Ledger: “Gov. Chris Christie today vetoed a bill that would have relaxed New Jersey's strict surrogate parenting law, saying the state hadn't yet answered the ‘profoundquestions that surround creating a child through a contract. According to the governor's statement explaining the veto obtained by The Star-Ledger, ‘Permitting adults to contract with others regarding a child in such a manner unquestionably raises serious and significant issues’…. The bill (S1599) would have eliminated the three-day waiting period for parents of children born to surrogates to be listed on their birth certificates. It also would have required the ‘gestational carrierto surrender custody of the child immediately upon the child's birth.” [New Jersey Star-Ledger, 8/8/2012]

  • Surrogacy Is Increasingly Popular Among The LGBT Community With The Spread Of Marriage Equality, But Is Considered Risky In New Jersey. According to the New York Times, “Surrogate baby-making “has been growing among gay men, who in a fundamentally conservative embrace of family values, see having children and building a family as the logical next step after getting married…as in New Jersey, paid surrogacy is still considered risky because of case law going back to Baby M. In 2012, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a law that would have permitted some types of payment, saying he wanted more discussion of such ‘profound change in the traditional beginnings of a family.’” [New York Times, 2/19/2014]

Christie Signed “Toughest Of Its Kind In The Nation” Anti-Bullying Legislation. According to CBS: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed an anti-bullying bill that advocates say is the toughest of its kind in the nation, and which picked up steam in the state Legislature after 18-year-old Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi committed suicide in September….The Clementi incident, along a spate of high-profile suicides of other gay youth in September and October, turned an issue that had long been a concern for some in the gay community into a national concern that attracted the public attention of President Barrack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and entertainers like Ellen DeGeneres and Margaret Cho…. The retooled law requires anti-bullying programs and policies in public schools. Previously, like the bullying laws in most states, such measures had only been recommended. Now, schools will be required to have anti-bullying specialists and report incidents to the state.” [CBS News, 1/7/2011]

Christie Said He Found Anti-LGBT Comments Made By New Jersey Teacher “Disturbing” And Not A Positive Example. The Star-Ledger reported: “Gov. Chris Christie said he is concerned about statements made by Viki Knox, a high school teacher whose anti-gay Facebook comments set off a debate about free speech and gay rights ‘I think that kind of example is not a positive one at all to be setting for folks who have such an important and influential position in our society,Christie said this morning on 770 WABC Radio. ‘I'm really concerned about those kinds of statements being made.Christie said he finds the comments ‘disturbing.The uproar over Knox began two weeks ago when she posted comments on her public Facebook page critical of a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month display at Union High School. The special-education teacher with more than 20 years of experience went on to describe homosexuality as ‘a perverted spiritand ‘a sin that breeds like cancer.’” [New Jersey Star-Ledger, 10/19/2011]

Christie Called Rutgers Coached Fired For Shouting Homophobic Slurs At Students ‘An Animal” Who Should Not Be Around Students. According to the Guardian: “New Jersey governor Chris Christie has stepped up his criticism of disgraced college basketball coach Mike Rice, calling him an ‘animalwho should not be allowed around students. ‘One of my questions to folks was, what parent would let this animal back into their living room to try to recruit their son, after this video?Christie said at a news conference on Monday. ‘I'd hang up the phone.Rutgers University, in Newark, New Jersey, fired Rice last week after video of the coach roughing up players at practice and screaming homophobic slurs at them was made public.” [The Guardian, 4/9/2013]

Christie Called Suicide Of Tyler Clementi An “Unspeakable Tragedy” That Was “Unacceptable. According to the Star-Ledger: “Gov. Chris Christie today called the suicide of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi an ‘unspeakable tragedy,but said he would let Attorney General Paula Dow figure out how to prosecute the case against two fellow students accused of recording him in a sexual encounter. ….Christie said his feeling on the case as a father ‘overwhelms whatever feelings I have as governorand that he didnt know how Ravi and Wei could sleep at night ‘knowing that they contributed to driving that young man to that alternative.’ ‘That kind of stuff is just unacceptable,he said. ‘And you dont know the feelings of the person on the receiving end of that …There might be some people who can take that type of treatment and deal with it. There might be others, as this young man obviously was… much more greatly affected by it.’” [New Jersey Star-Ledger, 9/30/2010]


Significant Findings on Transgender Rights

  • Vetoed bill making it easier for transgender people to get new birth certificates


 

 

Christie Vetoed Bill That Would Have Made It Easier For Transgender People To Get New Birth Certificates. According to the Star-Ledger: “Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill today that would have permitted people who underwent a clinical sex change procedure to amend their gender designation on their birth certificates. Christie said changing a birth certificate would create opportunities for ‘fraud, deception and abuse, and should therefore be closely scrutinized and sparingly approved.’…. Since 1984, state law has required the Department of Health to issue new birth certificates to people who have undergone sex change surgery. But not every transgender person goes that route, with some choosing hormone therapy instead. The bill, (A4097) would have applied to people who have undergone ‘clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition, based on contemporary medical standards, or that the person has an intersex condition,according to the legislation.” [New Jersey Star-Ledger, 1/13/2014]


For Second Time, Christie Vetoed New Jersey Bill Streamlining Process For Changing Gender Markers On Birth Certificates, Citing Concern For Potential Fraud, Deception, And Abuse. According to the Washington Blade, “For the second time, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed legislation aimed at streamlining the process for transgender people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates….. Under current law, a transgender person in New Jersey must show evidence of gender reassignment surgery to make the change; the legislation would have eliminated the requirement. For minors, the bill would have allowed a parent or guardian to submit an application for a change in gender marker on their child’s behalf. Christie, who announced his veto in the same day he announced action on a slew of legislation, said in a message to the legislature dated Aug. 10 he vetoed the legislation out of concerns for potential fraud, deception and abuse. ‘Birth certificates unlock access to many of our nation’s and state’s critical and protected benefits such as passports, driver’s licenses, and social services, as well as other important security-dependent allowances,’ Christie said. ‘Accordingly, I remain committed to the principle that efforts to significantly alter state law concerning the issuance of vital records that have the potential to create legal uncertainties should be closely scrutinized and sparingly approved.’” [Washington Blade, 8/10/2015]

Christie Laughed About Veto Of Transgender Birth Certificate Bill, Saying It Was “Beyond The Pale” And That He Would Veto It Again Because “It Doesn’t Make Any Sense To Me.” Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie laughed on Thursday about his recent veto of legislation that would have streamlined the process in his state for transgender people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates, saying the measure was ‘beyond the pale.’ The GOP hopeful chuckled about his actions during an interview with conservative radio host Michael Medved, who asked Christie about his veto on Monday of the legislation, S1195. Medved asked, ‘You have no compassion for the Caitlyn Jenners of this world?’ ‘Listen, for people who do not have a sex-change operation, all the bill required was somebody that who would seek a doctor’s treatment and that that doctor would verify they felt like the opposite gender,’ Christie replied. ‘I have to tell the truth, Michael, there are certain things that just go beyond the pale, and that’s not what I’m gonna permit the law to be in New Jersey,’ Christie added. ‘It doesn’t make any sense to me, and that’s why I vetoed it again, and if they send it to me again, I will veto it again.’ When Medved responded with a remark about being “dangerously conservative,” Christie could be heard on the other line chuckling.” [Washington Blade, 8/13/2015; Michael Medved, 8/12/2015]

Christie Said Life Shouldn’t Be Made “Complicated” And “More Confusing” For Children By Transgender Bathroom Debate. CNN reported that “Claudia Reott, a California woman, asked Christie about a California law ‘which means that children from K-12 can use any bathroom that they choose, at the time, if they feel like they're a girl, if they feel like they're a boy.’ Christie responded by joking that life is simpler in New Jersey, ‘Men go to men's rooms, women go to women's rooms and there really shouldn't be a whole lot of confusion about that -- public accommodations. And I don't think we should be making life more confusing for our children.’ […] ‘The fact though is that we want our kids not to have to decide which bathroom they get to go in. And not to be subject to peer pressure about which one to go in. And not to be subject to the embarrassment that could come with going in a bathroom where somebody maybe doesn't agree that they should be in there or not,’ Christie said. ‘Why do we do this to our children? It doesn't make any sense. So I don't know. I'm the common sense guy from New Jersey, you know, I don't think life needs to be this complicated. I think it needs to be a lot more straightforward.’” [CNN, 12/21/2015; VIDEO]