Chris Christie is on the wrong side of history – and the GOP

Seventy-five prominent GOP officials – including former Bush and Reagan cabinet members, former governors, and top consultants Republicans rely on for advice and direction – have signed on to an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California’s Proposition 8.

Chris Christie’s on the wrong side of history.

Among the signers is California’s Meg Whitman. Chris Christie campaigned for her when she ran for governor there (she lost). They were on the same side on marriage – then. She campaigned on a promise to defend Prop 8. It’s a reversal for her, like many of the signers. [More of them, below the fold].

Gov. Christie Todd Whitman [no relation] is also there. She’s long waged a losing battle to urge her party to stop catering to the far-right. Whitman says she wants government out of marriage, favoring a European model where couples regardless of gender can be legally recognized, with “marriage” left to religion. She dismisses the usual scare tactics:

“I’ve been married 36 years and I’m not worried about a gay couple somehow threatening my marriage.”

Last week, the Obama administration filed a brief calling DOMA unconstitutional.

Amicus briefs don’t always make this much news. But this one represents a seismic social shift. Evolution. Same kind (absent years of abusing gay people with rhetoric and policy) that President Obama recently went through.

But, hey – evolution is evolution. Let libertarians get there because they want government out of their beeswax. Let conservatives get there by recognizing not much is more conservatizing than a neighborhood of married folks. Or maybe they got there by the reality slap that hating on women, gay folks and Spanish-speaking immigrants sucks for business. Whatevs.

Chris Christie is on the wrong side of history.

Additional signers include: former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman (who led Republicans as the worst of their anti-gay rhetoric was launching, and came out of the closet in 2010), former U.S. Deputy Atty General Jim Comey, Mary Cheney, Senior Romney Adviser in Iowa Dave Kochel, Reps Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Richard Hanna (R-NY), and Bush National Security Advisor Steven Hadley.

Disclosure: I’m a board member at Garden State Equality, and that’s not why I wrote this.

Comments (8)

  1. deciminyan

    Marriage equality is a moral civil rights issue, but by maintaining discrimimation in New Jersey, we are also driving much-needed business out of state. Rosi, you wrote eloquently about Alex and Sean’s wedding in Manhattan. The money they spent could have easily benefited New Jersey businesses instead. Similarly, I attended a wedding of a lesbian couple, officiated by my (NJ) rabbi, but the venue had to be moved to New York. Again, the NJ wedding industry suffers. Christie may say he’s pro-business, but he’s really not.

  2. Rosi Efthim (Post author)
  3. Jeff Gardner

    If (when?) the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Prop 8 or DOMA or both (decision expected in June), our New Jersey Republican legislators and Governor Christie will have one more chance to soul-search on this issue, and land on the right side of history.

    It would represent an historic shift that would be both politically smart and the right thing to do.

  4. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

    34-year-old conservative commentator S.E. Cupp has turned down an invitation to speak at C-PAC until they allow groups that advocate for marriage equality.

  5. A New Jersey Farmer

    Put this on the ballot and work like hell to get every progressive and forward thinking New Jerseyan to the polls in November to vote for it and Barbara Buono.

  6. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

    Yes – Alex & Sean Get Married in New York City was one of the most fun things I ever got to write here (and the best photo I ever posted). And yes, they spent plenty of money on their floating wedding extravaganza that they would much rather have spent in New Jersey.  

  7. Alex

    I used to live in New Hope and, a few years ago when we actually started to imagine marriage equality in New Jersey, I pictured a wedding in Lambertville, perhaps at the Lambertville Station, with the Delaware River and New Hope as a backdrop. It would have been a nice nod to the land where I had lived for so long – Pennsylvania – but which doesn’t afford any statewide recognition of same-sex couples. Years later, with New York having leapfrogged New Jersey in enacting marriage equality, Sean and I began preparing for our wedding but on a different river (the Hudson) and with a different state as a backdrop. As we got married at Chelsea Piers, with New Jersey as a backdrop, I was reminded of how much I would have liked to have gotten married in New Jersey looking across at Pennsylvania. But life is short, something I understand all too well as a cancer survivor, so New York got our business. I don’t regret it for a second. I only regret that New Jersey has fallen behind, and further behind as more states enact marriage equality or are now contemplating it.

  8. Erik Preuss

    I really believe it would pass. Despite Christie’s popularity, New Jersey is still a blue state at the end of the day. And as this post indicates, there are a lot of Republicans who support legalizing gay marriage. I’m from Glen Rock, which is definitely a “Republican” town, but even so, most Republicans I know from my town favor legalization. I don’t know if that’s indicative of the rest of NJ Republicans, but I’ve met very few (aside from the Christian right) who are truly against it.

    IDK whether Christie really is anti-gay marriage. But the bottom line is, as long as Christie has presidential ambitions, he will continue to oppose it. Getting it on the ballot should be priority.


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