By David Madden

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – The battle over gay marriage in New Jersey is turning into a war of words between the state’s top two elected officials.

“We all know how this movie’s going to end,” Governor Chris Christie says.

Christie is offering a voter referendum on the question to Democrats as a way to address the issue once and for all, because, “If they pass the bill, it’s going to be vetoed. If they attempt to override the veto, the veto will be sustained.”

Christie wonders out loud why Democrats like Sweeney won’t go for it.

“Let’s stop hiding behind this ‘you don’t put civil rights on the ballot’ thing. You know — please. These folks would put anything on the ballot if they thought they could win.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney has argued gay marriage is a civil rights issue and he vows to confine consideration of gay marriage to the legislature.

“The last time this state had a referendum on a civil right, the woman’s right to vote in 1915, it failed,” Sweeney says.

And he says it should not be exposed to the passions of an electorate.

“If the governor was the president in 1860, we’d still have slavery.”

So Sweeney vows not to allow a referendum on the question.

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