(NJ) — TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie this morning attempted to clarify statements he made about same sex marriage and civil rights, but in the process called an openly gay assemblyman who was among the governor’s detractors “numbnuts.”

In calling for a voter referendum on gay marriage last week, the Republican governor said: “The fact of the matter is I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.”

In a Statehouse press conference today, he expanded on the statement: “The political climate in the South didn’t give them the option to have a referendum back then,” he said, adding later: “They wished they would have had the option, but the political climate did not permit it, meaning they would not win.”

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