NEWARK – The New Jersey Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision to proceed with same-sex marriages on Oct. 21. The state of New Jersey asked to delay the weddings until the marriage equality case Garden State Equality v. Dow proceeded through the appeals process.
The state is appealing a decision by Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson, who ruled on Sept. 27 that civil unions are unconstitutional and that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry starting Oct. 21. The New Jersey Supreme Court will hear the case in January.
The following is a statement from ACLU-NJ Executive Director Udi Ofer:
Next Monday will be a historic day for New Jersey. The Supreme Court has recognized what we all know – that marriage equality is the only path forward for New Jersey. Civil unions prevent loving and committed same-sex couples from being treated equally. They never have been and never will be equal to marriage.
While today’s ruling brings us another step closer in the legal battle to win marriage equality, the fight is far from over. Yes, couples can get married starting on Monday, but this legal battle will take months to be resolved, with no clear certainty until some point next year. Gay and lesbian couples should not have to ring in another year with their futures hanging in limbo. The legislature can end this legal limbo by acting immediately to bring marriage equality to all loving and committed couples in New Jersey. In the past few weeks alone, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have voiced their support for marriage equality. Momentum is on our side, and today’s court ruling should only bolster the confidence of pro-marriage lawmakers that they are on the right side of history.
It is time for New Jersey to join its neighbors in the northeast and be a leader in this movement for basic rights and freedoms.