News :: National

NJ: 1 Judge Can’t Force Gay Marriage Recognition

by Geoff Mulvihill
Friday Oct 11, 2013
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Cindy Meneghin, left, kisses her partner Maureen Kilian, both from Butler, N.J.
Cindy Meneghin, left, kisses her partner Maureen Kilian, both from Butler, N.J.  (Source:AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration says a single judge shouldn’t be able to force the state to recognize gay marriage.

That’s one of the arguments in legal papers filed Friday by the state in support of its effort to delay implementation of a judge’s order last month that gay marriage be legal in the state as of Oct. 21.

The brief for an appeals court comes a day after Judge Mary Jacobson turned down New Jersey’s request to delay the effective date of her order while the state Supreme Court decides whether she was right.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A New Jersey judge has reaffirmed her call for the state to start issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Oct. 21, but the administration of Gov. Chris Christie is taking another crack at putting the mandate on hold.

Both developments came Thursday and are the latest in a flurry of legal activity over whether the state should allow gay couples to marry.

Last month, Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that the state must recognize same-sex nuptials starting Oct. 21, saying the state is blocking some of its residents from federal legal protection for their relationships.

The administration of Christie, a Republican and possible 2016 presidential candidate, is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn Jacobson’s decision.

In the meantime, the state also asked Jacobson to delay the mandate until the main case is sorted out by higher courts.

On Thursday, Jacobson refused.

A delay "would simply allow the state to continue to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest," she said in her opinion.

Gay rights supporters lauded the ruling, which moves New Jersey a step closer to having same-sex marriages occur this month.

The state immediately appealed the ruling.

It has until noon Friday to lay out its position. Garden State Equality, which along with a half-dozen same-sex couples sued for the state to legalize gay marriage, has until Tuesday to file a response.

The state had told Jacobson that New Jersey would be harmed by moving ahead with gay marriage now - in part because having same-sex couples legally wed would make it harder for a court not to allow gay marriage.

Christie supports civil unions, which the state has had since 2007, but says marriage laws should be changed only by a popular vote.

"I don’t think that should be decided by 121 politicians in Trenton or seven judges on the Supreme Court," he said at a debate this week. "It should be decided by the 8.8 million people of New Jersey."

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Comments

  • BlondieSL, 2013-10-11 15:55:34

    "It should be decided by the 8.8 million people of New Jersey?" Perhaps I’m thinking of a different state, but I thought that the ppl did vote yes before and Christie vetoed it? I may be confusing something else.


  • Anonymous, 2013-10-11 17:25:18

    Christie won’t get my vote if he runs in 2016. Another ass republican like Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett.


  • john eason, 2013-10-11 17:42:05

    christie is out of touch with what the people of new jersey wants.oh of course he is he belongs to the gop.


  • Wayne M., 2013-10-11 23:34:20

    When it comes to recognizing and defending human rights, I would hope the courts will do their jobs and defend what politicians are afraid to defend. In a democracy, the rights of all minorities must be protected regardless of majority public opinion.


  • MNrainbow, 2013-10-12 00:50:30

    Does that fat SOB hate gays that much? He should put the same time and energy into diet and exercising, he’s hardly an example of how others should live!


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