Across the country, there is a debate waging about whether or not gay marriage initiatives should be put to a vote or be legislated through federal and local governments. Currently gay marriage is legal in eight states–Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Vermont, and Maryland–as well as the District of Columbia.
Recently, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came under scrutiny after he vetoed a bill that would have made gay marriage legal in his state. Gov. Christie was against the measure, which passed New Jersey’s state legislature, but said that he wants the people of his state–not its politicians–to decide whether or not gay marriage should be legal in New Jersey.
Many LGBT and civil rights activists have scoffed at the idea of allowing the majority to vote on granting rights to a minority and have wondered aloud if rights for women and blacks were left up to the majority if they would have ever been passed.
This morning, openly gay Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart pressed Gov. Christie on this very issue.
After saying his views on gay marriage were no different than President Obama’s, Gov. Christie reaffirmed him goals of leaving the issue up to New Jersey’s citizens. Capehart challenged the governor’s position and said that gay marriage–like any other civil right–shouldn’t be left up to a vote.
What do you think…is gay marriage a civil rights issue? Should it be voted on by the people or instituted by law?