US: New Jersey gay couples file brief to Supreme Court that waiting to marry is damaging
Equal marriage advocates have filed a brief with the New Jersey Supreme Court saying same-sex couples will be done more harm if they are not allowed to marry as of next week.
The brief was filed on Tuesday, and refers to a ruling by Judge Mary Jacobson back in September which said the state of New Jersey should begin allowing same-sex marriages to take place from 21 October.
New Jersey Judge Mary Jacobson last month ruled that because the US federal government now recognises same-sex marriage, the state government in New Jersey would violate its constitution by not doing so. She said same-sex marriages should be allowed to take place from 21 October.
She declined the request on Thursday, saying in her opinion that 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.”
The Supreme Court in the state has since agreed to take on the appeal against equal marriage by the Governor’s administration.
The advocates argued that gay couples will be denied federal benefits if they are not allowed to marry.
The US Supreme Court in June struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and ruled that civil unions do not provide the same benefits as marriage.
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Back in February, Democrats in the New Jersey legislature said they would attempt to override Governor Chris Christie’s equal marriage veto from last year, and have now agreed to put the question of marriage equality to voters in November, if they cannot override it.
Alongside Pennsylvania, New Jersey was the only north east state where same-sex marriage is not legal.
More: Chris Christie, Civil partnerships, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, New Jersey, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, US, wedding