Governor Chris Christie’s decision to throw in the towel in his fight against equal marriage in New Jersey has infuriated America’s leading anti-same-sex marriage group.

National Organisation for Marriage (NOM) believes it will scupper the Republican’s chances among social conservative voters – if he decides to run for the GOP 2016 presidential nomination.

Last week the New Jersey Supreme Court refused Governor Chris Christie’s request that same-sex marriages be put on hold until a state appeal against the decision is decided.

The Governor had fought against introducing equal marriage without a referendum. 

But on Monday he was forced to admit defeat as the first same-sex weddings began to take place, making New Jersey the 14th US state to support equal marriage.

A statement released by Mr Christie’s office read: “The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his Administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

NOM President Brian Brian accused Mr Christie of surrendering his principles and of being weak.

“An activist judiciary has once again imposed its views and ignored the rights of voters. Regrettably, Governor Christie’s decision to surrender on marriage reveals him to be a man who lacks the courage of his supposed convictions,” Mr Brown said.

“The refusal of the New Jersey Supreme Court to order a stay of the same-sex ‘marriage’ ruling was wrong, and the latest example of an activist judiciary running amok, substituting their views for those of the people of the state. Still, we are extremely disappointed in Governor Chris Christie for withdrawing the state’s appeal of the underlying decision, effectively throwing in the towel on marriage. The mark of a leader is to walk a principled walk no matter the difficulty of the path. Chris Christie has failed the test, abandoning both voters and the core institution of society – marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

Mr Brown added: “Governor Christie’s decision to surrender on marriage reveals him to be a man who lacks the courage of his supposed convictions. As far as we are concerned, it’s a disqualifying failure. His surrender on marriage effectively surrenders any chance he might have had to secure the GOP nomination for president.”