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The New Jersey Supreme Court has decided that it will not issue an injunction stopping a lower court ruling that same-sex marriages are to be legal as of October 21, 2013.  This despite the NJSC deciding to hear the case in early 2014.

From The Republic:
Same-sex marriages will begin within days in New Jersey after the state's highest court ruled unanimously Friday to uphold a lower-court order that gay weddings must start Monday and to deny a delay that was sought by Gov. Chris Christie's administration.

"The state has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: Same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today," the court ruled. "The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative."

The lower court had ruled about a month ago that the US Supreme Court DOMA ruling in Windsor made New Jersey's "separate but equal" civil unions unconstitutional, since those in New Jersey civil unions would not be entitled to the same federal benefits those having marriages would be.  A decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court some years ago had required that the New Jersey Legislature either enact marriage equality or create legislation ensuring that civil unions and marriages were "equivalent."  The legislature chose to do the latter.

11:53 AM PT: FYI: New Jersey becomes the 14th state and the 15th jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.

12:00 PM PT: From a comment on this at Equality on Trial

Applications are being accepted today. Licenses will be issued on Monday when the lower court ruling takes effect allowing same sex marriages to begin. NJ has a 72 hour waiting period from time of application until time of issuance, and that is why applications must be submitted by today in order for actual marriages to take place on Monday. Many towns are accepting applications today, including my town of Maplewood. Residents must apply in a town where one of them legally resides, but may marry anywhere in the state. Out of state residents may apply in any town accepting applications, but must marry in the town where they apply. Persons who are already married under the laws of another state or country may apply for and receive NJ licenses as of Monday, with no 72 hour wait required. Various documents, plus a witness over the age of 18, are required when applying for a license, so check with the appropriate clerk's office before heading over, or get the details here:

12:08 PM PT: Details on NJ marriage laws from Lambda Legal.

12:10 PM PT: Another quote from the ruling. Zounds!

“We can find no public interest in depriving a group of New Jersey residents of their constitutional right to equal protection while the appeals process unfolds.”

1:27 PM PT: Governor Christie's office issues a statement.

"The Supreme Court has made its determination. While the Governor firmly believes that this determination should be made by all the people of the State of New Jersey, he has instructed the Department of Health to cooperate with all municipalities in effectuating the order of the Superior Court under the applicable law,"

Originally posted to jpmassar on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, Milk Men And Women, Angry Gays, and LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

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