Chris Christie on Civil Rights



Black Lives Matter encourages cop killing

Q: What about Black Lives Matter?

CHRISTIE: There's lawlessness in this country. The president encourages this lawlessness.

Q: Encourages it how?

CHRISTIE: By his own rhetoric. He does not support the police. He justifies Black Lives Matter.

Q: But Black Lives Matter shouldn't be justified at all?

CHRISTIE: Listen, I don't believe that that movement should be justified when they're calling for the murder of police officers.

Q: But they're not calling for the murder of police officers.

CHRISTIE: Sure, they are. They have been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers.

Q: Well, individuals have, but the Black Lives Matter.

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, that's what the movement is creating. And the president of the United States is justifying that. But not only that, he hasn't backed up police officers from the minute he's gotten into office. When there are bad cops, they need to be prosecuted, like there are bad lawyers and bad doctors and bad engineers

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 interview by Bob Schieffer , Oct 25, 2015

Churches can use sexual orientation; businesses can't

Q: Should businesses be allowed to decide whether or not to serve gays or anyone else based on religious freedom?

CHRISTIE: 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. 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.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 30, 2015

Disagree with Supreme Court, but gay marriage is law of land

Christie said he disagreed with the majority Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states, but that he respects the ruling as "the law of the land."

In the past, the governor favored civil unions but not same-sex marriage. He dropped New Jersey's challenge to a court decision legalizing gay marriage in 2013.

Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 30, 2015

Gay marriage is settled in NJ, but keep debating nationally

Christie said that the GOP shouldn't 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 there's some referee who stands up and says, 'OK, now it's time for you to change your opinion,'" he said. "The country will resolve this over a period of time. But do I think it's resolved? No."

Still, he added, the issue is "settled" in New Jersey, unless there's an unexpected change in the state's solidly Democratic legislature. Christie, who opposes same-sex marriage, drew flak from conservatives for deciding to halt a court battle over the issue last year. He said that he made the call because he would have lost anyway: "When I know that I've been defeated, you don't bang your head against the wall anymore and spend taxpayer money to do it," said Christie. He said the issue should be left to the states, noting that "an overwhelming majority of states currently still ban same-sex marriage."

Source: Politico.com 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 12, 2014

If my kids were gay, I'd give them a hug; but no marriage

Christie and Buono clashed on marriage equality. Asked how he would react if any of his children told him they were gay, Christie maintained his opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage.

"If my children came to me and said they were gay I would grab them and hug them and tell them I love them," Christie said. "I would also tell them that your dad believes that marriage is between one man and one woman."

Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2013 N.J. Governor debates , Oct 16, 2013

Supreme Court accepting gay marriage was "a bad decision"

Hours after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling today striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Gov. Chris Christie maintained his opposition to same-sex marriage and lambasted the high court. "It's just another example of judicial supremacy rather than having the government run by the people we actually vote for," he said of the high court's 5-4 vote. "I thought it was a bad decision."

Christie noted that DOMA originated with a Republican Congress & Democratic president. "I thought that Justice (Anthony) Kennedy's 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," he said. "They basically said the only reason to pass that bill was to demean people."

Christie calls for voters to decide the issue in each state [which pleases liberals]. His opposition to gay marriage could maintain his conservative bone fides while pacifying GOP voters in early primary states.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2013 N.J. Governor's debate , Jun 27, 2013

No legislating gay marriage; but referendum ok

Chris Christie vetoed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in New Jersey, although he supports a statewide referendum on the issue. He has also agreed to strengthen the state's civil unions legislation. And he talks about gay rights in a way that's designed to appeal to supporters, not opponents. In 2011, before the president endorsed gay marriage, Christie declared that "my feet are firmly planted right next to President Obama" on the issue.

"While Christie doesn't support marriage equality, he does have a good record," said a spokesman from the gay conservative group GOProud. "He also does a good job of talking about how he's thought about how issues affect gay people."

As a Roman Catholic--and as someone who would have to work hard to earn conservatives' trust in a GOP primary--Christie is not likely to be the first to step out with a personal endorsement of gay marriage. But he could well be the first to argue that his personal opinion doesn't mean gays shouldn't be allowed to marry.

Source: Washington Post 2013 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 26, 2013

Homosexuality is not a sin; people are born that way

Homosexuality is not a sin; people are born that way Asked whether homosexuality is a sin, Christie said he doesn't think so. "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
Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p.213 , Jun 5, 2012

Marriage is an institution between one man & one woman

Democrats announced at a State House news conference they would introduce in both houses a marriage equality bill. NJ's civil union law was being challenged in court and the feeling was if it made it to the state Supreme Court the civil union law would \ 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."
Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p.212-213 , Jun 5, 2012

Vetoed closure of Developmental Disabilities Centers

Underscoring the importance of providing a high quality of life in the most integrated setting possible for New Jersey's residents with developmental disabilities, Gov. Christie today utilized the conditional veto to recommend changes to improve S-2928, legislation creating the Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers. Gov. Christie's recommendations recognize the importance of this fundamental civil rights issue, establishing a process to study and carefully implement any reduction in the number of operating developmental centers.

"It has been my view all along that the decision on whether or not to close a developmental center is first and foremost a civil rights issue and not a budgetary issue," wrote Governor Christie. "To ensure a better quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities, New Jersey must provide these individuals with developmental disabilities with the ability to live in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs."

Source: Press release, "Developmental Disabilities" , Aug 25, 2011

Pursue civil unions in NJ, but not same-sex marriage

Q: What about same-sex marriage? New York has passed this. Do you think states like New York should have the right to do what they did, or do you believe in a constitutional amendment that would bar states from passing same-sex marriage?

A: I'll tell you, in New Jersey we have a civil union law. And we had a very vigorous debate in late 2009, early 2010--before I became governor--about same-sex marriage, and it failed in the state legislature under a Democratic legislature with Democratic Governor Jon Corzine. And so my view on it is, in our state we're going to continue to pursue civil unions. I am not a fan of same-sex marriage. It's not something that I support. I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. That's my view, and that'll be the view of our state because I wouldn't sign a bill like the one that was in New York.

Source: Interview on NBC "Meet the Press" , Jun 26, 2011

Homosexuals are born that way; they're not sinners

Q: Is homosexuality a sin?

A: Well, my religion says it's a sin. But for me, 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's a sin. But I understand that my Church says that but for me personally I don't look at someone who is homosexual as a sinner.

Q: You support civil unions. You don't support gay marriage. Can you see a situation where you would change your mind about that?

A: 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 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. I couldn't change my mind on that but I am in favor of making sure that homosexual couples have the same type of legal rights that heterosexual couples have.

Source: Interview on CNN "Piers Morgan Tonight" , Jun 15, 2011

Marriage exclusively between one man and one woman

I believe marriage should be exclusively between one man and one woman. While, I have no issue with same sex couples sharing contractual rights, I believe that marriage should remain the exclusive domain of one man and one woman. If a bill legalizing same sex marriage came to my desk as Governor, I would veto it. If the law were changed by judicial fiat, I would be in favor of a constitutional amendment on the ballot so that voters, not judges, would decide this important social question.
Source: 2009 Gubernatorial campaign website, christiefornj.com , Jul 21, 2009

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Page last updated: Jun 15, 2016