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An Open Letter to Governor Christie [Opinion]

Flickr user Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Governor Christie,

We live in a country and a state where we choose our representatives to go to the respective seats of government and speak for their constituents. Before any of our representatives cast a single vote on the “Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act“, you promised to veto the bill. You didn’t even wait to see how our elected officials would vote. In the end, the bill passed both the NJ State Senate on Monday, and the Assembly only a few moments ago.

You said that, after your veto, “…we can move on to the things the people of New Jersey say are most important to them”, like, apparently taking the time to hold a press conference about Wrestlemania.

Sir, respectfully, I would argue that the basic civil rights of your constituents is a pretty important issue.

You have said that you want this issue put to public vote.

The last time that a majority class of New Jerseyans voted on the rights of a minority class was in 1915, when women’s right to vote was put on the public ballot. It was voted down. Women would not have the right to vote until 5 years later when the 19th Amendment was ratified.

Politicians like to talk about “activist judges”, suggesting that higher officials take matters that they personally disagree with into their own hands and make unilateral decisions. I can not think of a more appropriate analogy in this instance. We have chosen our representatives and sent them to Trenton to speak for us. They have made their decision, yet you have promised to unilaterally negate that decision.

Governor Christie, I hope that you will consider civil rights over pure politics. Your record will live on well after you have left office. Which side of history do you want to be on? Do you want to be remembered as a champion of civil rights, or do you want to be remembered as the man who told a large group of his constituents that they are “less than”?

 

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