NJ Gay Marriage: Judge Strikes Down Ban On Same-Sex Marriages

Barring an injunction, New Jersey same-sex couples will be able to wed next month.

Same-sex couples will possess federal equal rights to that of heterosexual married partners in New Jersey. According to the Superior Court of New Jersey Law Division,

“Because plaintiffs, and all same-sex couples in New Jersey, cannot access many federal marital benefits as partners in civil unions, this court holds that New Jersey’s denial of marriage to same-sex couples now violates Article 1, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution…

“The equality demanded by Lewis vs. Harris now requires that same-sex couples in New Jersey be allowed to marry.”

This is certainly a victory for the gay rights groups Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal, along with all the same-sex couples waiting to marry in New Jersey. The state of New Jersey has been in the running for legislative approval since Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the request. Gov. Chris Christie's administration had argued that it was out of their control given the pressing social and legal issues were federal, not state, benefits. The Christie administration is expected to appeal.

Mary Jacobson, the head judge in Mercer County said,

"The ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts.”

The state does have until Oct. 21 to either appeal or start the process to allow gay marriages; first to an intermediate court, and then to the state Supreme Court.