Today the New Jersey Supreme Court denied the state’s motion to temporarily prevent same-sex marriages, clearing the way for same-sex couples to marry starting Monday. Christie had asked the court to delay a lower court ruling allowing gay marriage.
This will give Christie one more chance to make a big spectacle about it. On some level Christie knows gay marriage is coming to the Garden State. He can read the polls about voter attitudes.
Christie’s actions have nothing to do with New Jersey. He is trying to send a message to socially conservative GOP primary voters in places like Iowa and South Carolina that he is one of them. Being for tax cuts isn’t enough with that crowd. They want to know Christie shares their values.
This as much about policy as it is about culture. More than anything that is the biggest obstacle facing Christie. He needs to convince a party based in the South and small towns that they can trust someone from the urban Northeast. It was one thing Rudy Giuliani could never do in 2008.
In an attempt to overcome that challenge Christie will continue to spend his talking about opposing gay marriage. Will it hurt him in New Jersey? A little but he is so far ahead in his reelection campaign it will not matter.