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N.J. Supreme Court agrees to hear same-sex marriage case

Friday, October 11, 2013

TRENTON, N.J. — The state’s highest court on Friday agreed to hear a case on whether same-sex marriage should be legal in New Jersey, and whether same-sex weddings can be performed while it decides.

A lower-court judge ruled last month that the state must legalize same-sex marriage starting Oct. 21, but Gov. Chris Christie’s administration said in a court filing Friday that a single judge should not be able to force New Jersey to do so.

New-JerseyThe argument was included in a brief the state submitted in support of its emergency appeal after a state judge refused to delay her order that New Jersey legalize same-sex marriage as of Oct. 21.

“To overhaul such an ancient social institution prematurely, precipitously, or in a manner ultimately deemed unnecessary would injure not only the public interest, but the State that represents this interest,” the state attorney general’s office said in its brief.

The state Supreme Court accepted the case Friday, skipping th e normal course of letting an appeals court hear it first. Oral arguments were scheduled for January.

Thirteen states, including most in the Northeast, already allow gay couples to marry. New Jersey offers gay couples civil unions but not marriage.

Same-sex marriage has been a political and legal issue in New Jersey for more than a decade, but it’s probably never had the urgency it has now.

A group of couples plus the gay rights group Garden State Equality sued in July in an effort to get the state to recognize gay marriages in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that cleared the path for the federal government to deliver marriage benefits to gay couples.

Judge Mary Jacobson ruled in their favor last month.

The administration of Christie, a Republican and possible 2016 presidential candidate, appealed both the overall ruling and Jacobson’s decision on Thursday not to delay the due date.

The state argues that it has a reasonable probabilit y of winning the overall appeal of Jacobson’s ruling and that allowing same-sex marriages to move ahead in the meantime would be damaging.

As it has in other legal forums, the state says its law granting gay couples civil unions – but not marriages – should not be overturned because of federal action. Gay rights groups and Jacobson both disagreed, but the state believes it has a reasonable chance of prevailing with that argument in New Jersey’s top court.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit have until Tuesday to file legal papers in response. A ruling is expected before the Oct. 21 date when same-sex marriage licenses would take effect.

Separately, gay marriage advocates are pushing lawmakers to override Christie’s veto last year of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court said it will take oral arguments on overall case on Jan. 6 or 7. That’s about a week before the end of the legislative term, which is the deadline for lawmakers to override Christie’s 2012 veto of a bill that would legalize gay marriage.

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59 more reader comments:

  1. It would be better news if they refused to here and and send it back to the other court

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:49pm
  2. Yeah, but if history repeats itself, look how it has turned out for the other states where this has happened like California. I am curious how he thinks NJ can prove this is harmful while other states have made it legal and the Federal Government has said it is OK too.

    Replied on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:12pm
  3. so it’s going backward now?…

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:50pm
  4. Ugh! Stupid FF Christie!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:50pm
  5. That’s wonderful, but how about ILLINOIS!! and all the other states yet to be recognized!!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:50pm
  6. So would someone capable of understanding all the nuances of legalese please explain to me what this means. Is NJ allowing gay marriages starting on the 21st as the original court said? Help!!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:51pm
  7. that fat fuck Christie!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:53pm
  8. Because it’s an “emergency!” What a crybaby, Christie.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:54pm
  9. Sandy was an emergency. This is a spoiled child pouting because things aren't going his way.

    Replied on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:05pm
  10. Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:54pm
  11. This is a good thing. Either they will have the right to marry in NJ or they will take it to the Supreme Court. That’s where it ultimately needs to be. However, since people have been saying it’s a state’s rights issue, this is another probable win at the state level.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:57pm
  12. Get it passed already.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:58pm
  13. It will hold up. I would of thought the “Supreme’s” would of rejected the hearing! Then bigots are come in robes too..

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:59pm
  14. Feels like California all over again, and we all know how that turned out. It just seems like it takes forever…

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:00pm
  15. Every state in this nation is going have to suck it up and legalize Gay Marriage no matter what

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:03pm
  16. Why does Christie think he has a reasonable chance of winning the appeal? Has he not seen what has happened in other states and at the Federal Level? What would make NJ any different?

    He’s just playing the game so ultimately he can appease his Republican supporters by saying “I was against it, I fought against it, but I lost in the courts, so don’t blame me.” While thousands of gay and lesbian citizens sit in waiting so he can advance his political future with the least impact to him.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:04pm
  17. He wants people to thing he is not part of the tea baggers but he is doing this to drawn them in. He is just as much a slime ball as any of the other tea baggers. He knows what side his bread is buttered on and hit will play it to the hilt.

    Replied on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2:15am
  18. Republicans havent exactly shown themselves to be good judges of opinion ........ it isnt as if they had just had a resounding success over Obamacare .

    Replied on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 4:32am
  19. Republicans havent exactly shown themselves to be good judges of opinion ........ it isnt as if they had just had a resounding success over Obamacare .

    Replied on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 4:32am
  20. Why are people afraid of love but not war?

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:05pm
  21. Land of the free..my ass

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:05pm
  22. This is awesome but hopefully New Jersey United for Marriage will have passed an override on Christie’s veto by the time arguments are heard by the court!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:05pm
  23. PASS IT ALREADY!! I want to marry my fiancé ❤️

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:08pm
  24. no SHUT UP THE GOV

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:14pm
  25. they r going to remind him their opinion last time & send him packing

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:14pm
  26. The SCOTUS has already ruled on this in favor of it, so precedent has been set. The NJSC should rule base in precedent.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:18pm
  27. The SCOTUS has already ruled on this in favor of it, so precedent has been set. The NJSC should rule base in precedent.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:18pm
  28. Down with Christie. Up with Mayor Corey Booker. Now there’s a class act who does the right things. Shot out to Mr. Booker. I love NJ but truly disappointed in leadership.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:25pm
  29. Down with Christie. Up with Mayor Corey Booker. Now there’s a class act who does the right things. Shot out to Mr. Booker. I love NJ but truly disappointed in leadership.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:25pm
  30. Not fair. ..we will win the right to marry

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:32pm
  31. Not fair. ..we will win the right to marry

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:32pm
  32. *eye role* g-r-e-a-t.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:40pm
  33. *eye role* g-r-e-a-t.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:40pm
  34. please go like our new page and share it also! https://www.facebook.com/realfemsandstuds

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:45pm
  35. please go like our new page and share it also! https://www.facebook.com/realfemsandstuds

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:45pm
  36. Christie needs to go somewhere with his dumb ass and try to accomplish getting a life. Ugh…why are people so hellbent on throwing us off this earth?!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 10:28pm
  37. “Prematurely”? He has a stone-age attitude and thinks changing would be premature? Get in the f*cking 21st century.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 10:36pm
  38. mr, Christie will lose this one !!!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 10:44pm
  39. C’mon NJ!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 10:45pm
  40. The court says they’ll hear fatass’s appeal. Doesn’t mean they’ll overturn their original decision.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 11:28pm
  41. I find it hilarious that str8 people think they have the right to vote on our marriages, considering we never got to vote on theirs! if we cant marry, they cant divorce!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 11:30pm
  42. once and for all

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 11:39pm
  43. Hey friends, go to the Chris Christie and post this: “Mr Christie, illegalize Bacons, …not our gay marriage. Lets US live free.”

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 12:06am
  44. Yes, people in love wanting to get married calls for an emergency hearing Mr governor! .Don’t worry about Seaside or anything you bigot! :-(

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 1:05am
  45. Ugh why do i live in this state.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 1:23am
  46. this man got elected becuz corzine didn’t fight back until months into the campaign and then the media made him into gop super star, new jerseyans you don’t have to tolerate him for another term vote him out in november

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2:13am
  47. Of course it should’ve legal!

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2:56am
  48. And, if they rule in favor of marriage equality, then what, Gov. Christie? Then what?

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 7:16am
  49. INSTEAD of tackling the more important issue’s….like … I don’t know fixing the COUNTRY’S finances so that people won’t end up homeless you pick this as an issue to tackle… grow up fatso i don’t tell you what to do in YOUR bedroom … stay out of mine.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 10:50am
  50. INSTEAD of tackling the more important issue’s….like … I don’t know fixing the COUNTRY’S finances so that people won’t end up homeless you pick this as an issue to tackle… grow up fatso i don’t tell you what to do in YOUR bedroom … stay out of mine.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 10:50am
  51. Awesome. They they will uphold the Gay marriage ruling, no doubt! Civil Unions no longer comply with their last ruling that same-sex couples deserve equal rights in the marriage department. Hence they’re no denied Federal Benefits.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2:28pm
  52. Awesome. They they will uphold the Gay marriage ruling, no doubt! Civil Unions no longer comply with their last ruling that same-sex couples deserve equal rights in the marriage department. Hence they’re no denied Federal Benefits.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2:28pm
  53. Awesome. They they will uphold the Gay marriage ruling, no doubt! Civil Unions no longer comply with their last ruling that same-sex couples deserve equal rights in the marriage department. Hence they’re no denied Federal Benefits.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2:28pm
  54. Awesome. They they will uphold the Gay marriage ruling, no doubt! Civil Unions no longer comply with their last ruling that same-sex couples deserve equal rights in the marriage department. Hence they’re no denied Federal Benefits.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2:28pm
  55. It should’ve been legal a long time ago… I’m glad I’m living in canada… Having to go to court to get married… that’s ridiculous… you should be able to marry the person you want, whoever it is.. if you love that person.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2:49pm
  56. WHAT part of Equal = EQUAL do they not get?

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 5:32pm
  57. HUEAYYYY

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:01am
  58. HUEAYYYY

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:01am
  59. oh dear

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:11am