NJ Trial Court: Same-Sex Couples Must Be Allowed to Marry
September 27, 2013 by Cathryn Oakley, Legislative Counsel, State & Municipal Advocacy
“Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution,” ruled the Superior Court of New Jersey today as it granted a motion for summary judgment by the plaintiffs in the case Garden State Equality v. Dow. This case was brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of Garden State Equality and seven same-sex couples and their children, and HRC congratulates Lambda Legal and Garden State Equality on this tremendous win.
The trial court’s order will go into effect on October 21, 2013, though Gov. Chris Christie's administration has indicated it will appeal the ruling.
The New Jersey Constitution requires that same-sex couples be afforded the same rights and benefits enjoyed by married opposite sex couples. Today the court declared that civil unions do not provide the same rights and benefits as marriage, and “will order the State to permit any and all same-sex couples, who otherwise satisfy the requirements for civil marriage, to marry in New Jersey.”
New Jersey United for Marriage, of which HRC is a proud partner, has mounted a campaign to secure marriage equality legislatively for all loving and committed couples in New Jersey. Whether equality is achieved through this case being allowed to stand or through the legislative process, New Jersey United for Marriage will fight to make sure that the protections and responsibilities of marriage are extended to all loving and committed couples in New Jersey.
As part of our investment in the New Jersey United for Marriage effort, HRC has five field staff in the Garden State. To join their efforts contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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