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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Seven gay couples sue NJ demanding civil unions be recognized as marriage

Thursday, June 30, 2011
Seven gay and lesbian couples have joined with LGBT advocacy groups Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal on Wednesday in filing suit against the state of New Jersey demanding their partnerships be recognized as marriages, not as civil unions. [ Read more → ]

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: ‘I’m not a fan of same-sex marriage’

Sunday, June 26, 2011
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reaffirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage, and "that will be the view of our state" -- as long as he is the Governor. [ Read more → ]
Steve Sweene

NJ lawmaker: Voting against marriage equality ‘biggest mistake of my career’

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) on Monday apologized in a speech on the Senate floor for casting a vote against marriage equality in January 2010. [ Read more → ]
Molly Wei

Molly Wei, defendant in Tyler Clementi suicide case, strikes plea deal

Saturday, May 7, 2011
Molly Wei, one of two former Rutgers University students accused of spying on Tyler Clementi with a webcam just days before he committed suicide, has struck a plea deal to avoid jail time on the condition she testifies against her co-defendant in the case. [ Read more → ]
Josh Vandiver (left) and Henry Velandia

Federal immigration judge halts deportation case of same-sex spouse

Friday, May 6, 2011
A federal immigration judge on Friday halted the deportation of Henry Velandia, a Venezuelan native who married U.S. citizen Josh Vandiver in Connecticut last year. [ Read more → ]

Married partner faces deportation hearing as a result of ‘Defense of Marriage Act’

Saturday, April 30, 2011
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts speaks with Josh Vandiver and Henry Velandia, a binational same-sex couple married last year in Connecticut, where gay marriage is legal. As a result of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Velandia is facing deportation hearing on May 6. [ Read more → ]
Jim McGreevey

Jim McGreevey: too much of a ‘jackass’ to join gay-welcoming Episcopal clergy

Monday, April 25, 2011
Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, who resigned following revelations he was gay and having an extramarital affair with a male staffer, has been denied admission to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. [ Read more → ]
Dharum Ravi

Roommate receives 15-count indictment for Tyler Clementi’s suicide

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The roommate of the Rutgers University freshman who committed suicide last year after an intimate encounter with another man was broadcast online, received a 15-count indictment on Wednesday for his alleged actions that led to the death of Tyler Clementi. [ Read more → ]

Congressman asks Obama administration to halt deportation of same-sex spouses

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
A U.S. congressman from New Jersey has asked the Obama to halt deportation proceedings against the same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens, making the request on behalf of a gay couple who reside in his district. [ Read more → ]

Jury awards $3.15 million to gay couple bashed at Burger King

Sunday, February 27, 2011
UNION CITY, N.J. -- A jury has awarded a gay couple in Union City $3.15 million after they were chased and beaten following a dispute over their order at a local Burger King restaurant. [ Read more → ]

The state of Marriage Equality in 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011
2011 will likely see a number of battles state by state across the country. Three states plus the District of Columbia are facing the prospect of losing marriage equality, an additional seven states could start the process of amending their state constitutions to ban marriage equality, five could gain marriage equality. [ Read more → ]

New Jersey Governor signs nation’s toughest anti-bullying law

Friday, January 7, 2011
TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Thursday, signed what many believe is the nation's toughest law to fight bullying in institutions of learning. [ Read more → ]
Tyler Clementi

Parents of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi may sue university over son’s suicide

Sunday, December 26, 2010
The parents of Rutgers University freshman who committed suicide after his roommate and another student allegedly broadcast online an intimate encounter with another man, have notified the school they may sue the university. [ Read more → ]

New Jersey lawmakers pass tough new anti-bullying measure

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
New Jersey lawmakers on Monday approved an "Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act," legislation that advocates say will be one of the nation's toughest laws to fight bullying in institutions of learning. [ Read more → ]
Darum Ravi (left) and Mooly Wei

Rutgers students accused of inciting fellow student’s suicide, drop out

Sunday, October 31, 2010
The two Rutgers University students, charged with invasion of privacy when a fellow student killed himself after his romantic encounter with another man was streamed on the Internet, have dropped out for the semester. [ Read more → ]
An on-campus memorial for Tyler Clementi

Rutgers student press blames Clementi’s suicide on ‘inability to deal with the hardships of life’

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The Rutgers student newspaper, The Daily Targum, on Tuesday published a blistering editorial attacking the national media and gay-rights activists for "exploiting" the suicide of Tyler Clementi, referring to the incident as "a boy's inability to deal with the hardships of life." [ Read more → ]

Jewish newspaper sets off ‘firestorm’ over same-sex wedding announcements

Tuesday, October 5, 2010
A Jewish newspaper in New Jersey has announced its first published same-sex engagement announcement will also be its last, bowing to complaints from members of the traditional Orthodox Jewish community. The Teaneck, NJ-based Jewish Standard announced its decision on its website, just a week after... [ Read more → ]
Tyler Clementi

Body found in Hudson River confirms suicide death of Tyler Clementi

Thursday, September 30, 2010
A body found in the Hudson River off New York City was identified today as that of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, 18, who committed suicide last week after a gay sexual encounter was allegedly streamed online by his roommate. Grace Burgess, a spokeswoman for... [ Read more → ]
Tyler Clementi

Rutgers student jumps to his death after roommate posts video of gay encounter on the internet

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
A Rutgers University freshman jumped to his death last week, just days after his college roommate broadcast live images on the internet of him having a sexual encounter with another man. [ Read more → ]

NJ library bans gay teen book over complaint from Glenn Beck follower

Saturday, August 7, 2010
A controversial book aimed at gay teens has been banned in the Burlington County, NJ, public library, the decision of a lone librarian acting on a single complaint by a Glenn Beck follower. [ Read more → ]

New Jersey Supreme Court refuses to hear gay marriage case

Monday, July 26, 2010
The New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a case from six same-sex couples seeking the right to marry, saying the case needs to wind its way through the lower courts first. [ Read more → ]

Atlanta CEO shot, killed in undercover gay sting operation in NJ park

Thursday, July 22, 2010
The ACLU joined gay rights groups, civic and religious leaders in calling for an independent investigation into the death of a prominent Atlanta CEO who was shot and killed last week during an undercover sweep of alleged homosexual activity in a New Jersey park. [ Read more → ]

Lambda Legal, NJ gay couples back in court over right to marry

Thursday, March 18, 2010
Gay couples who sued New Jersey in 2002 for the right to marry are taking their case back to the State Supreme Court. Lambda Legal filed a motion Thursday on behalf of six couples and the surviving partner from a seventh, claiming the state continues... [ Read more → ]

NJ gay marriage advocates taking their case back to state supreme court

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
New Jersey gays rights advocates, with the help of New York-based Lambda Legal, are going back to the New Jersey Supreme Court in order to fight for the right to marry in the Garden State. Lambda Legal and Garden State Equality have scheduled a new... [ Read more → ]

NJ gay rights group halts political party donations, citing gay marriage defeat

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
New Jersey’s largest gay rights group is suspending donations to political parties after feeling spurned by Democratic lawmakers who did not pass a gay marriage bill. In a statement released Monday, Garden State Equality said it will now contribute only to individual candidates and pro-LGBT... [ Read more → ]
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