Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Jersey Decision Cloudy

The New Jersey Supreme Court has just ruled in the marriage equality lawsuit. The court handed down the decision today at 3:00.

The decision is not great, but not too bad. The court ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals, but that lawmakers must determine whether the state will honor gay marriage or some other form of civil union. is calling the decision "a major blow to marriage equality advocates".

In my opinion the decision could have been much worse.

Here are a few points:
  • Justices were unanimous in their conclusion that discrimination against same-sex couples violates the equal protection provisions of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey constitution
  • A majority of four justices conclude that same-sex couples must be granted the same rights as opposite-sex couples, and give the NJ legislature 180 days to their statutes to provide equal rights and benefits, whether it be called marriage or something else
  • A minority of three justices wanted to end the exclusion from marriage immediately
Garden State Equality is moving quickly to ensure the legislature grants full marriage equality. Read their statement on the decision and their plan for action here.

It is even more important that we keep equal marriage legal here. Massachusetts continues to stands as a beacon of hope for gays and lesbians throughout the nation.


At 9:35 AM, Blogger Blue-Xela said...


I appreciate your mixed feelings on the NJ case, but I think this helps all of us for many implicit reasons.

a.) this does take the right-wing-backlash heat off of Massachusetts (at least for a little while).

b.) Three justices dissented in part because the ruling did not go far enough! That's awesome.

c.) this is a better opportunity for the NJ legislature to argue that separate is not equal if they decide to go the civil unions route.

Check out my blog for my full response


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