New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vowed Tuesday to veto a same-sex marriage bill that's moving through the state legislature, saying the public should vote on the issue.
But angry state Democrats said they have an obligation to protect civil rights.
The bill's sponsor, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, noted that even some Republicans support the measure.
"The governor should allow them to vote their conscience," Sweeney said. "His announcement today was to try to put a damper on what we're trying to do. It's not happening. We're not backing down. We're not giving up."
Christie made it clear he believes the citizens of New Jersey who should be allowed to vote their conscience.
"Whether or not to redefine hundreds of years of societal and religious traditions should not be decided by 121 people in the statehouse," Christie said. "Let the people of New Jersey decide what is right for the state."