Late last month came word that State Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson had ruled that New Jersey was no longer in compliance with its state constitutional requirement of Equal Protection, following the US Supreme Court’s ruling against DOMA, and must extend full marriage to same-sex couples.
Just moments ago we heard that the New Jersey Supreme Court has refused to stay that ruling – meaning that marriage equality comes to New Jersey at 12:01 am this Monday, October 21.
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 fight for marriage equality in New Jersey is by no means over. Oral arguments in the underlying appeal are scheduled for January, and there are many unanswered questions as to how and for how long marriage will be available to all New Jerseyans.
But Monday morning will still bring a great step toward progress.