New Jersey News Roundup

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October 20, 2013
Lambda Legal plaintiff families with Deputy Legal Director Hayley Gorenberg

On Friday, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied the State's motion to postpone allowing same-sex couples to marry. Beginning October 21st, New Jersey's same-sex couples will be able to marry.

From The Associated Press:

Same-sex marriages will begin within days in New Jersey after the state's highest court ruled unanimously Friday to uphold a lower-court order that gay weddings must start Monday and to deny a delay that was sought by Gov. Chris Christie's administration.

"The state has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: Same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today," the court said in an opinion by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. "The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative."

Read the full article here.

From CNN:

"This is a huge victory for New Jersey's same-sex couples and their families." added Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of gay rights group Lambda Legal and the organization's lead attorney on the case. "Take out the champagne glasses -- wedding bells will soon be ringing in New Jersey!"

Read the full article here.

From Reuters:

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the New Jersey plaintiffs went back to court arguing that civil unions no longer guaranteed equal rights because couples in such unions were deprived of federal benefits available to married couples, such as tax breaks and Social Security survivor benefits.

"The state's statutory scheme effectively denies committed same-sex partners in New Jersey the ability to receive federal benefits now afforded to married partners," Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote for the court.

In asking for a stay, the New Jersey attorney general's office argued that the state would suffer harm if gay marriage were not put on hold pending the appeal.

But the court said the state had failed to explain how it would be injured, while gay couples had shown they would miss out on crucial benefits until marriage was permitted.

"Like Judge Jacobson, we can find no public interest in depriving a group of New Jersey residents of their constitutional right to equal protection while the appeals process unfolds," Rabner wrote.

Read the full article here.

Click here to download our FAQ, New Jersey Marriage Law.

Meet all the plaintiffs and their families.
Read the opinion.
Learn more about the case, Garden State Equality v. Dow.