Judge Rules NJ Must Allow Gays To Marry
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
September 27, 2013
A New Jersey Superior Court judge has ruled that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry.
Judge Mary Jacobsen granted an emergency request by six gay couples.
She says since the U-S Supreme Court invalidated key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, several federal agencies have extended marital benefits to same-sex couples, but couples joined by civil unions in New Jersey are being denied those benefits.
She’s ordering the state to allow gay marriages beginning October 21st to satisfy the equal protection guarantees of the New Jersey Constitution.
Michael Premo is the campaign manager for New Jersey United For Marriage. He’s thrilled with the judge’s decision.
“This is the right decision. It’s the decision that should have been in the interests of all of the loving and committed couples who want to get married but can’t.”
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora is also pleased with the ruling.
“From Maine to Maryland there are only two states prior to today that didn’t recognize marriage equality, New Jersey being one of them. I think once DOMA was declared dead, there’s no way to deny such rights to gays and lesbians.”
Democrats in the legislature who sponsored a bill to legalize gay marriage are still hoping to be able to override Governor Christie’s veto of that legislation.
A spokesman for the governor says he will appeal the judge’s decision to the New Jersey Supreme Court.