Chris Christie to be applauded for deviating from GOP line

Earlier this week, same-sex marriage became legal in New Jersey with the support of nearly 60 percent of state voters. New Jersey is the 14th state to approve same-sex marriage. These figures mean that in nearly a fifth of the territories constituting our country, citizens can legally tie knots with whomever they want.

During the summer, legalization of same-sex marriage became a talking point in incumbent New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign for the then-upcoming primaries. Christie, a Republican, indicated that he was not particularly enamored with the progress. Any gestures suggesting otherwise would’ve been ill-advised, if not inconceivable, simply because his party wouldn’t have supported them. Thus, it was only natural for him to bring the state’s recent decision to the Supreme Court.

But then he changed his mind. That is, he has withdrawn his legal challenge to marriage against the state.

The Star-Ledger reports Colin Reed’s explanation of Christie’s stance: “Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court’s 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 … The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

Decisions seldom come down to right versus wrong, but Christie’s decision allows more couples to try their hand at legal partnership, which is a good thing. But his decision, regardless of the disruption it causes within the households surrounding him, will be felt in his political career for as long as he’s a Republican. While he may have recanted, the GOP will not. Rick Perry, for sure, will never support it. Even though marijuana isn’t legal in New Jersey, Republicans have questioned Christie’s disposition in this matter as well in light of his change in position on same-sex marriage.

Iowa conservatives aren’t at all excited by the ruling, as Bob Vander Plaats, one of Iowa’s more visible spokesmen, shared with the press on Monday.

“Gov. Christie has basically backed away from one of the most fundamental social institutions — marriage between one man and one woman,” Vander Plaats said.

“This is not going to play well for him if he chooses to enter the Republican primary for president of the United States. It will have tentacles way beyond Iowa.”

Iowa has been essential to any recent president’s political aspirations. Strong words of opposition from their “big names,” regardless of the catalysts, generally don’t bode well. But our conception of marriage, despite its “traditional roots in America’s foundation,” is changing rapidly throughout the country.

Republicans in New Hampshire have assured Christie that he will pull through. There are patches in the Bible Belt where “no” will continue to mean “no,” but these aren’t the only pieces of the voting puzzle. Yes, Christie has lost fans, but he’s also won quite a few. They might even be the ones that push him over the hump.

 Senior staff columnist Bryan Washington is an English junior and may be reached at [email protected].

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