Congratulations, gay-marriage supporters! A New Jersey judge ruled today that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry. According to the judge, doing otherwise is a violation of rights guaranteed by the federal government. Judge Mary C. Jacobson of State Superior Court wrote, “The ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New jersey in a wide range of contexts.” Thanks to the Supreme Court's June decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, she ruled that under its state constitution, New Jersey must allow same-sex marriages. The ruling goes into effect October 21. The decision stems from a case in which a group of same-sex couples and gay rights groups sued the state in July following the Supreme Court's ruling.
Of course, Gov. Chris Christie, an opponent of gay marriage, is probably not going to let this one slide. Since the order doesn't go into effect for several weeks, the state can still appeal to a higher court. We'll see how this develops and update as necessary. But in the short term, it's still a huge win for the LGBT community and same-sex marriage supporters. (NYTimes)
Photo: Via NBC.