NJ Superior Court of Mercer County declares civil unions unconstitutional, orders state to extend marriage to same-sex couples
Today, a state judge in New Jersey ruled that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in New Jersey. Ruling in the case Garden State Equality v. Dow, the judge stated in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey constitution, same-sex couples must be allowed to marry.
New Jersey is one of two states in the northeast that does not allow same-sex couples to marry. In 2007, the state allowed for same-sex couples to enter civil unions, but not marriage.
The following quote is a statement from ACLU-NJ Executive Director Udi Ofer:
"This is a great day for all of New Jersey. The court has recognized the love and commitment that same-sex couples share is no different from anyone else’s. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act made it clear that civil unions discriminate against same-sex New Jersey couples. Today’s decision leaves no doubt that only the freedom to marry provides the equality that same-sex families deserve. We encourage the state to respect the court’s decision and to not further prolong the inequality suffered by New Jersey families. The ACLU-NJ will continue to work with our allies across the state to encourage the legislature to bring full equality to New Jersey as soon as possible."
- GSE: Order (1mb PDF)
- GSE: Decision (3mb PDF)
- NJ’s More Perfect Union: Why Marriage Equality, Why Now