New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who has opposed same-sex marriage, said that gay people are born that way and it is not a sin. The statement was released as he signed a bill banning therapy that tries to change a minor’s sexual orientation. Christie said such efforts pose “critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.”
“Exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate,” Christie, 50, said Monday in the statement.
Christie, who is seeking re-election for governor in November and appears to be positioning himself to run for president in 2016, has walked a fine line on issues surrounding homosexuality as polls show a majority of Republicans oppose gay marriage amid broader acceptance of the practice.
A Gallup poll last month showed about two-thirds of Republicans are against making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 U.S. states. The survey of about 2,000 adults found that 52 percent of all voters favor such a measure.
Christie told CNN’s Piers Morgan in 2011 that while he is Catholic and his church believes homosexuality is a sin, he doesn’t share the view. “If someone is born that way, it’s very difficult to say then that that’s a sin,” he said, a quotation reproduced in today’s statement.