A long rainy season during the summer months (December to February) combined with freezing conditions in the winter (June to August) creates adverse travel conditions which isolate much of the highland areas.
A wealth of rivers and waterfalls makes Lesotho valuable to the surrounding arid industrial areas of South Africa.
“An exclusion without exceptions would violate the cultures and traditions of some communities in New Jersey based on religious traditions,” Mr Christie said in a statement.
Opponents of the measure said exceptions should remain for marriages of young members of the military - 17-year-olds can enlist with parental consent - and pregnant teenagers.
He did not specify what religions he was referring to.