New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vowed to veto a same-sex marriage bill Tuesday, the same day a state Senate panel approved it.
Christie told a town hall audience Tuesday he would veto the bill if it reached his desk. Instead, he said he wants to put the issue to voters in a referendum.
"Let's let the people of New Jersey decide what's right for the state," Christie said. "Let's put the question of same-sex marriage on the ballot this fall, in the hands of the people. The time when the most people will be voting in a presidential election year."
The Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary committee forwarded the bill to the full Senate in an 8-to-4 party-line vote.
Similar legislation failed in the Senate two years ago when several leading Democrats, including Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), abstained from the final vote.
The governor's comments came a day after he nominated an openly gay man to the state Supreme Court.