STATE – Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson denied the state’s request for a stay of her Sept. 27 decision that directs officials to begin permitting same-sex couples to marry on Oct. 21.
Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is appealing the decision, arguing that the federal government should be held responsible for denying same sex couples joined in civil unions some of the rights and benefits of married couples.
Jacobson ruled that New Jersey’s prohibition of same-sex marriage is preventing its lesbian and gay couples from receiving benefits provided to married couples after June’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
In denying the stay, Jacobson wrote, “the State has not explained exactly how allowing some same-sex couples to marry to assure them access to equal rights pending appellate review would cause any harm to the state, or why any eventual deprivation of the right would be ineffectual should it be ordered by an appellate court.”
“Plaintiffs would suffer many hardships of constitutional magnitude if the stay were to be issued, but the State has not demonstrated how it would suffer in any meaningful way if the Order is enforced,” Jacobson concluded.
In a Quinnipiac University poll released today, voters that Christie should drop the appeal by a 61-32 percent margin. By a similar margin, likely voters want the state Legislature to override the governor’s veto of a marriage equality bill.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!