New Jersey Supreme Court to hear marriage equality case

WiG

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Oct. 11 said it hear a marriage equality case and also decide whether to impose a stay on a judicial order that would allow same-sex marriages to begin on Oct. 21.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is seeking the stay, as well as challenging a lower court order that to ban same-sex marriages in New Jersey is unconstitutional.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s office, in its brief to the state’s highest court, said, “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.”

Christie has maintained since he vetoed a marriage equality bill that voters should decide whether same-sex couples can get married.

The lawsuit for marriage equality was filed by Lambda Legal in July on behalf of Garden State Equality, a statewide gay rights group, and same-sex couples seeking marriage rights at home.

Lambda succeeded in getting a favorable ruling in Judge Mary Jacobson’s court last month. The judge ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Oct. 21.

This week, she denied the state’s request for a stay while it appealed the order.

The state supreme court likely will rule on the state’s request for a stay before Oct. 21 and will hear oral arguments on the merits of the marriage equality case in January.