EDISON - Gov. Chris Christie's administration has withdrawn its appeal of a lawsuit that paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage in New Jersey.
Christie had initially asked the state Supreme Court to delay wedding ceremonies pending the outcome of the appeal. The state Supreme Court denied that request last Friday.
Christie advised acting Attorney General John Hoffman to withdraw the state's appeal in the matter of Garden State Equality vs. Paula Dow Monday morning.
A statement that has been released by the administration says "although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law. The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court."
Experts say Christie had been faced with two choices, just two weeks before the gubernatorial election. If he had gone through with the appeal, it would have cost the state money and he would have appeared to have been standing in the way. In withdrawing the appeal, Christie appears to take the high road.
Krista Jenkins of Fairleigh Dickinson's Public Mind Polling, says that in the end, it's a numbers game. "About two thirds of all voters in the state said they approved of the court's decision and that they also wanted the state to end what ever appeal it might have planned."
The decision comes on the same day that couples were allowed to begin holding marriage ceremonies across the state.