A New Jersey judge has ruled that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry.
Judge Mary Jacobson says now that the federal government recognizes gay marriages, not doing so in New Jersey would violate the state constitution.
It's not immediately clear when marriages could begin or whether the state government will appeal to a higher-level state court.
Gov. Chris Christie is opposed to gay marriage, and his administration is expected to appeal.
In Friday's ruling, the judge accepted the position of lawyers from gay rights groups that the state is now blocking citizens from receiving federal benefits.
New Jersey's top court ruled in 2006 that gay couples had to have the same legal rights as married couples. Same-sex couples in New Jersey presently can enter into civil unions.
Governors can't veto the courts. It will depend on the Supreme Court which is currently 3 Democratic appointees and 3 Republican appointees and one vacancy. However, only one of the Republicans is Christie-appointed. The others were appointed by Republicans who would be drummed out of the party today--Thomas Kean and Christine Todd Whitman.
Based on the logic already in place in New Jersey and the Federal Supreme Court decision, I think Christie and the New Jersey Supreme Court are going to have a very difficult time over turning this decision.
In 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that gay couples in the state must be entitled to the same rights as straight married couples under the law. The result was a civil-union law signed later that year.
But once the United States Supreme Court struck down DOMA earlier this year, gay-rights groups argued that New Jersey's gay couples in civil marriages were actually missing out on the federal rights enjoyed by straight couples, and thus were not being treated equally. And today, a state judge agreed.
In her ruling today, Superior Court judge Mary Jacobson ordered the state to begin granting and recognizing gay marriages starting October 21. Temper your excitement, though: The ruling will almost certainly be appealed by Governor Chris "Buzzkill" Christie all the way back to the state's Supreme Court.
R7 is correct. The dividends from the death of DOMA begin. States that have "domestic partnership" or similar benefits will be required to allow marriage.
Expecting Christie's head to explode in 3....2....1.....
[quote]Gov. Chris Christie is opposed to gay marriage, and his administration is expected to appeal.
I hope Christie can justify the multi-million dollar expense involved in the appeals process to his constituents.
To be honest, I don't think Christie will do much to fight it. I think he probably supports gay marriage in his private life, but has to follow the influence of his Republican overlords if he wants to get that presidential nom. If it came across his desk and he didn't veto it, he would've kissed that nomination goodbye. But if it happens elsewhere, and he has no direct involvement in it, he won't involve himself and risk losing the support of moderates and gay-friendly Republicans.
Is he hyper-Catholic?
The best thing Christie could do is just let it happen. The Repugs will not be able to say he had anything to do with it. He vetoed it.
I agree, R11. There is a growing section of the Republican party that's sick of the fundamentalist obsession with stomping on LGBT rights and how many voters from sane moderates and independents it costs them. I think any Republican with an ounce of sense - and I realize how few that number is - can see the writing on the wall and that aligning themselves with a hard stance against gay marriage will ultimately put them on the wrong side of history.
He won't do anything to stop it because it's no longer politically expedient to do so.
Christie is going to appeal he said.
Civil union states will be the next to get gay marriage. In addition to New Jersey, this includes: Colorado, Hawaii, and Illinois.
R14: Thank Richard Nixon for that. He was considered the "moderate" compared to Goldwater. On gays, Goldwater was better than Nixon; he condemned Jerry Falwell, saying "all good Christians should kick him in the ass." On the Nixon tapes, his diatribe against "All in the Family" surrounds the episode where Archie Bunker learns one of his bar buddies is gay.
Nixon was also responsible for the Southern Strategy, which drove the Religious Right to the party like flies to shit. 40 years later, the GOP is a mess, and they're responsible for it. By comparison, look at the vote on the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Says, Mrs. Christie,
I don't know how it happened. He got on top of me and it was like a combination of a National Geographic show on TLC and a Ben & Jerry's commercial.
Christie may make a show of appealing the verdict, just as Mitt Romney did when the Massachusetts court ruled the same way. I don't know if he will go to the lengths Romney did. He would be foolish to do so because Mitt eventually lost that battle, and so would Christie. But still the same, Mitt did get the nomination. You lose a battle, but you win a war.
Mitt lost that war.
HIs dog on the roof
And the country goes:
R21 Ultimately, he did. And gay marriage was not the issue anyone thought it would be. But he did win the war for the nomination. That was the war I was referring to.
Thus is the best thing to happen to Christie. He has to say he'll veto it but then he could say he could not get enough support. He comes out of this smelling like a fresh baked donut and the Tea Party will not blame him. 2016 is still a reality to him.
Oh Lord of mercy, R22, that is the most hilarious thing I've ever seen on the internet.
I'm a New Jersey resident, and I don't want my rights to be stripped away because some fat fuck wants to be President someday.
It's not a verdict; it's a ruling. An appeal would consist of writing a brief and answering questions from the judges. It will not cost millions of dollars.
What DID cost millions of dollars was Christie's decision to have two separate elections for Senator and Governor because he did not want Democrats turning out for Booker to reduce the size of his victory. That margin is ammunition for 2016.
R20, and that's actually potentially good news for us who would hate to have another Republican in the White House.
This ruling kind of puts Christie between a rock and hard place. If he opposes it, he's likely to feel repercussions in the 2016 presidential race (assuming he's the candidate) and if he does nothing or lets it go, he will piss of the nutjobs/base of the Repugs who show up in large numbers to vote in the Republican primaries.
[quote]There is a growing section of the Republican party that's sick of the fundamentalist obsession with stomping on LGBT rights
No there isn't.
The cable news network (News12NJ) mentioned earlier in the evening that the governor planned to take this to the state Supreme Court. (It's not something he can veto, as was mentioned above because this is not a piece of legislation.)
BTW, before this ruling happened today, Democrats in the legislature had been trying to round up Republicans to get them to join them in overriding the governor's veto of the gay marriage bill from earlier in the year.
So far, two Republicans already had said they would vote with them. Feeling empowered by this, the Dems are still trying to convince a few more of their colleagues on the other side of the aisle to also join them, particularly after Election Day. (The legislature has until the end of the year to do the override.)
So it looks like one way or the other, gay marriage will be a reality in NJ in the very near future.
Damn my home-state of Pennsylvanian will probably be the last north eastern state to get gay marriage.
fat boy says he'll appeal it
r31 I agree with you, my friend. Corbett will not take anything approaching this lightly.
[quote]Democrats in the legislature had been trying to round up Republicans to get them to join them in overriding the governor's veto of the gay marriage bill from earlier in the year.
This is a major campaign that's been going on for awhile. We had a thread in July about how New Jersey and Hawaii would probably have marriage equality before the end of the year.
RE: The judge’s decision is constitutional
No it isn’t. A judge cannot create a law that does not exist.
The people of NJ must vote and have it passed into law. That is the proper, constitutional way to do it.