New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sat down with Piers Morgan to talk about his opposition to gay marriage in an interview to air Tuesday night.
The New Jersey Assembly passed a bill to legalize gay marriage on Thursday, and Christie made good on his vow to veto it Friday, encouraging the Legislature to leave the decision up to voters.
"Let's put it on the ballot, and let's let people decide," he tells Morgan. "And if the people of New Jersey – as some of the same-sex marriage advocates suggest the polls indicate – are in favor of it, then my position would not be the winning position. But I'm willing to take that risk, because I trust the people of the state."
Morgan goes on to ask Christie, a practicing Catholic, whether he would ever change his personal views.
"I would not compromise my principles for politics," Christie says. "You're saying 'will it become politically unpopular to have the position I'm having.' If it does, so be it. I don't compromise my principles for politics."
After vetoing the bill, Christie released a statement:
I am adhering to what I've said since this bill was first introduced – an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide. I continue to encourage the Legislature to trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing our citizens to vote on a question that represents a profoundly significant societal change. This is the only path to amend our State Constitution and the best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state.
I have been just as adamant that same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples – as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits. Discrimination should not be tolerated and any complaint alleging a violation of a citizen's right should be investigated and, if appropriate, remedied. To that end, I include in my conditional veto the creation of a strong Ombudsman for Civil Unions to carry on New Jersey's strong tradition of tolerance and fairness.
New Jersey lawmakers have until January 2014 to override the veto, which would require the support of two-thirds of the lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate.
'Piers Morgan Tonight' airs Tuesday at 9 pm EST.