From the New York Times:
The New Jersey Assembly approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on Thursday, setting up a confrontation with Gov. Chris Christie, who promised a swift veto and defied the Legislature to put the issue before voters instead.
The reason for the veto has nothing to do with Mr. Christie’s views on marriage equality or on putting the rights of people to a vote. It has to do with the fact that Mr. Christie wants to be the next big thing in Republican politics after Mitt Romney and the current crop of candidates leave the stage. Given the base of the party and his image as a “moderate” (meaning that he doesn’t believe in the death penalty for women who have abortions), he can’t be seen as being tolerant of gay issues and same-sex marriage. He’s already incurred the wrath of Wingnuttia by appointing an openly gay judge and defending his appointment of a Muslim.
In Republican politics, it’s far more important to be seen as a winger than it is to stand up for the fundamental rights of citizens, and for Gov. Christie and his prospects as a VP candidate in 2012 or president in 2016, it’s not even a close call.