The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration on a recent ruling allowing gay marriage in New Jersey.
On Friday, Oct. 11, the Supreme Court said it will allow the case to skip the appellate division and oral arguments are set for Jan. 6-7, 2014.
A state judge Thursday, Oct. 10 said she will not delay the start of gay marriages in New Jersey, set to be allowed starting on Oct. 21. The Supreme Court is also taking jurisdiction over the appeal of that ruling, which denied a stay motion regarding the start of same-sex marriages.
The action by Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson denies the effort by Christie’s administration to delay allowing gay marriages until a ruling is made on his appeal of the recent decision by Jacobson.
In a court decision released Friday, Sept. 27, Jacobson ruled that effective Oct. 21, the state of New Jersey will permit same-sex couples who otherwise satisfy the requirements to enter into a civil marriage to marry in New Jersey.
Christie appealed the ruling, stating that he will let Supreme Court to make the decision because the legislature has not brought the issue before the voters.
“Gov. Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day. Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination,” reads a statement from Christie’s press secretary Michael Drewniak.
On Oct. 1, New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman filed a motion for a stay of Jacobson’s order allowing same-sex marriage until the Supreme Court, renders its decision.
This suit was brought against the state of New Jersey by Garden State Equality, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights organization, and six same-sex couples and their children, who held that the New Jersey and United States constitutions guarantee equal protection and because of that require that civil marriage be extended to same-sex couples.
This decision is based off the United States Supreme Court ruling in June, United States v. Windsor, which struck down a portion the Defense of Marriage Act denying marital benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in their home states. The plaintiffs contended that because New Jersey allows for civil unions and not marriages for same-sex couples, they are deprived of the federal benefits of marriage.
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