Christie Will Appeal Mercer Gay Marriage Ruling

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Wedding Rings

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.

From Governor Chris Christie’s press secretary:

“Governor 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.”

Here we go: an appeal process could take months. Marriages may or may not be allowed to proceed in the interim depending upon whether a higher court issues a “stay” pending appeal… TBD…

Original Post:

Gay marriages are coming to the Garden State next month, Save Jerseyans, barring further interlocutory action by a higher court to stay today’s landmark ruling…

The Hon. Mary Jacobson, A.J.S.C., Mercer County’s top Superior Court-level judge, granted emergent relief on Friday that was sought by six New Jersey same-sex couples in Garden State Equality v. Dow; in so doing, she directed officials to perform their same-sex marriages beginning on October 21st.

Today’s ruling was a key post-DOMA test for gay marriage. Judge Jacobson reasoned that a civil unions-only approach by the state would deny federal benefits to same-sex couples. She wrote in her decision that “…the current inequality visited upon same-sex civil union couples offends the New Jersey Constitution, creates an incomplete set of rights that Lewis sought to prevent, and is not compatible with “a reasonable conception of basic human dignity.” 

However, it’s important to note that Judge Jacobson is not an appellate judge or supreme court justice; she’s a trial-level judge in Mercer. Advocates for the legalization of gay marriage had been courting support for an override to Governor Christie’s veto. For those of us who follow such things, a judicial response always seemed more likely to drop first. There’s no word yet if an appeal will follow…


FYI: Click here to read the actual order. A copy of Judge Jacobson’s full decision is below the fold…


10 thoughts on “Christie Will Appeal Mercer Gay Marriage Ruling

  1. I wonder if the Governor would change his mind on gay marriage if one of his kids were to announce they were gay, the way Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio did when this issue affected one of his own family members. Instead Christie seems to be pandering to the far right element for his own political benefit.

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