Following a town hall meeting at the in Bridgewater Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie announced he plans to urge Republicans in the legislature to vote to put the issue of same sex marriage on the ballot for November.
If not, and it is put on his desk, Christie said he will veto it.
"I've been consistent in my position," he said. "It is clear to me that marriage is between one man and one woman."
"But let's stop treating this like a political football, and let the rest of New Jersey decide," he added. "This is an opportunity to take away any political maneuvering because the institution of marriage is too serious."
Christie said he does not believe the issue of same sex marriage is a political one, but he would not hesitate to follow through on his original campaign promise that he would veto any bill to legalize it in the state.
But, Christie said, he also would not hesitate to follow the will of the people of New Jersey if they voted for the bill.
"This is too big a change to be decided in the halls of Trenton," he said, adding that he does not see this as just a way to pawn off the decision on to the voters. "We need to be governed by the will of the people, and the best expression of that is through an election."
"I am suggesting there is another way to do this," he added.
Christie said the state would require a three-fifths vote in the legislature to put the question on the ballot, and he urges all Republican legislators to vote to bring it to the elections. This year will bring the most voters out because of the presidential election, so it is the perfect time to put the issue of same sex marriage on the ballot, Christie said.
"And then we can move on to other issues for the people," he said.
Once the legislation announced that the same sex marriage issue was a priority this year, Christie said, he knew they were on a "collision course."
"So this is an attempt by me to be nonpartisan," he said. "I think the way to do that is put the issue on the ballot. And that will empower the result even more."