New & Noteworthy:

New Jersey

New Jersey is the 3rd U.S. state, admitted to the Union on Dec. 18, 1787. Its most populous city is Newark, and the state capitol is located in Trenton.

Marriage Equality: Same-sex marriage became legal in New Jersey on Oct. 21, 2013, after a state Superior Court judge ruled on Sept. 27, 2013, that as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, New Jersey's constitution requires the state to recognize same-sex marriages. On Oct. 18, 2013, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously to uphold the ruling and deny a delay sought by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration. Christie dropped his appeal on Oct. 21, 2013 hours after the law took effect and same-sex couples in New Jersey began to wed. Previously, in 2012, the New Jersey Legislature had passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, but it was vetoed by Christie.

For information on state laws relating to LGBT rights, discrimination, hate crimes and adoption, click here.

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Nearly 4,000 same-sex couples marry in N.J. in first year of marriage equality

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Mel Evans, APNewark Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker, right, shares a laugh as he officiates the first same-sex marriage for Joesph Panessidi, center right, 65, and Orville Bell, 65, in Newark City hall just after midnight Monday, Oct. 21, 2013.
NEWARK, N.J. -- Nearly 4,000 marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex couples in New Jersey since the state Supreme Court cleared the way for gay marriages one year ago. Monmouth County has issued the most same-sex marriage licenses with about 406. That was followed by Essex and Camden counties.

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Christie says states should decide whether to allow same-sex marriage

Thursday, October 9, 2014
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a rally for Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett who is seeking a second term, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, at Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pa.
TRENTON, N.J. -- Gov. Chris Christie says it shouldn't be up to the Supreme Court to decide whether states allow same-sex marriage. The Republican governor weighed in Thursday on the court's decision this week not to hear appeals from a handful of states, paving the way for a significant expansion across the country.

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Transgender teacher who fought N.J. school boards dies

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Lily McBeth at her home in Tuckerton, N.J. in 2006.
LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. -- Lily McBeth, the teacher whose battles with school boards in conservative areas of New Jersey made her a reluctant symbol of the transgender rights movement, has died. She was 80. McBeth died Sept. 24 near her home in Little Egg Harbor after a long illness, her daughter Maureen said. "She was very much at peace with her life...

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Ban on gay youth conversion therapy to be appealed to U.S. Supreme Court

Friday, September 12, 2014
New-Jersey
NEWARK, N.J. -- An attorney for people seeking to overturn New Jersey's ban on so-called gay conversion therapy says he will petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. Gov. Chris Christie signed the law last year banning the therapy for patients under 18. The lawsuit, filed by two therapists...

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Federal appeals court upholds N.J. ban on conversion therapy for LGBT youth

Thursday, September 11, 2014
Protesters demonstrate outside a gathering for the  National Association For Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) in Phoenix, Ariz., in 2013.
A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a New Jersey law prohibiting therapists from performing the controversial "gay to straight" conversion therapy on LGBT youth. The lawsuit, filed by two therapists, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and the American Association...

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Accused killer says murders of four men were ‘vengeance’ against U.S.

Sunday, August 24, 2014
Ali Muhammad Brown
A Seattle man accused in a nationwide murder spree that has claimed four victims, including two gay men in Seattle, has told investigators that he had launched his own "jihad" against Americans as an act of "vengeance" to retaliate for U.S. military action in the Middle East.

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N.J. court recognizes non-biological parents’ rights in same-sex custody case

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
two-moms
An appellate court in New Jersey has ruled that a parent with no biological or legal ties to a child may still be entitled to custodial rights as a "psychological Parent." The decision comes in the case of a lesbian couple who jointly raised the biological child of one of the woman from the age of 18 months. For more than seven years, the couple equally shared in parenting..

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ACLU petitions U.S. Army to recognize two transgender veterans

Monday, August 11, 2014
army
TRENTON, N.J. -- The New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union wants the U.S. Army to "fully recognize" the new legal names of two New Jersey-based transgender military veterans. The group announced Monday that it submitted two applications to the Defense Department's Army Review Boards Agency on July 30 on behalf of the two veterans...

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Attorney: Appeal planned over dismissal of N.J. conversion therapy case

Friday, August 1, 2014
New-Jersey
NEWARK, N.J. — An attorney for a New Jersey couple says he’ll appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit that challenged the state’s ban on gay conversion therapy. The ruling filed Thursday by U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson rejected the claims of a New Jersey couple who said their constitutional rights were being violated because the law prevents them...

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Federal judge dismisses latest challenge to N.J. ban on gay conversion therapy

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Protesters demonstrate outside a gathering for the  National Association For Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) in Phoenix, Ariz., in 2013.
TRENTON, N.J. -- For the second time in nine months, a federal judge in New Jersey has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on gay conversion therapy. The ruling filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Trenton rejects the claims of a New Jersey couple who said their constitutional rights were being violated because the law prevents them from seeking...

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