By Michelangelo Signorile
New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono blasted Gov. Chris Christie, saying she’s not daunted by polls showing Christie with a commanding lead in November’s election. Buono asserted that the polls will tighten as people focus in on the race and realize Christie, a Republican, is “rabidly anti-choice,” “anti-marriage equality” and “cater[s] to the NRA.”
“I think that when people become informed and realize there’s one person standing between them and marriage equality -- and that’s Chris Christie --and one person standing between signing common sense gun legislation just to cater to the NRA, which figures big in the Republican presidential primary...[the race] will continue to tighten, we’re sure,” Buono said in an interview with me on SiriusXM Progress.
Buono, a New Jersey state senator who has spearheaded pro-LGBT legislation and has a daughter who is openly lesbian, discussed Christie’s opposition to marriage equality. Early last year Christie vetoed a marriage equality bill passed by the legislature, though he recently signed a bill Buono co-sponsored which banned licensed therapists from practicing discredited conversion therapy -- trying to turn people from gay to straight -- on minors. Buono said Christie was reticent at first about signing that bill, giving too much credence to promoters of conversion therapy.
“When the gay conversion bill came up in the house committee, and there was some pretty graphic testimony on it, this governor was asked about it,” she said. “And unscripted, he said, incredulously, he said didn’t know enough about it, and that he was of two minds about it. He said on the one hand parents should have the right to raise their children the way they wanted to. And I remember, I was just outraged, because I didn’t have to think about it. All you needed, for me, was to hear the words ‘gay’ and ‘conversion’ in one term. My 23-year-old is gay and she was just appalled and she was also appalled that most of the people she knew in California aren’t aware of how far to the right this governor is. He’s rabidly ant-choice. He doesn’t believe women should have equal pay for equal work.”
She continued, "There’s no question [that] every single decision he makes is based upon whether or not he believes it will advance or damage his chances to be successful in the Republican presidential primary.”