TRENTON – Two Democrats want to clarify the status of New Jersey couples united by civil unions.
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Hunterdon and Mercer) and Timothy J. Eustace (D-Bergen and Passaic) introduced their bill (A-4566) on Monday.
It would allow couples in an existing civil union to obtain a marriage license without paying a fee or being subject to the 72-hour waiting period. Couples who wish to remain in a civil union would be allowed to do so, but no new civil unions would be performed in New Jersey.
The bill would also redefine “marriage” as a legal term. “Whenever the term ‘marriage’ occurs or the term ‘man,’ ‘woman,’ ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ occurs in the context of marriage or any reference is made thereto in any law, statute, rule, regulation or order, the same shall be deemed to mean or refer to the union of two persons pursuant to this section,” the bill says.
Gusciora does not expect the bill to advance before the current legislative session ends in January, but hopes that the Legislature will pass it in its next session.
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