Saturday, September 28, 2013

QUEER QUOTE: NJ Judge Rules In Favor Of Marriage Equality

Big news out of New Jersey from yesterday. A judge ruled that the state's legally mandated requirement to treat same-sex and different-sex couples equally as a result of 2005's Lewis v. Harris ruling is not being met since after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in U.S. v. Windsor same-sex couples in civil unions are being denied federal benefits.

The concluding paragraph from the ruling is today's Queer Quote:
The ineligbility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts: civil union partners who are federal employees living in New Jersey are ineligible for marital rights with regard to the federal pension system, all civil union partners who are employees working for businesses to which the Family and Medical Leave Act applies may not rely on its statutory protections for spouses, and civil union couples may not access the federal tax benefits that married couples enjoy.  
This unequal treatment requires that New Jersey extend civil marriage equally to same-sex couples to satisfy the equal protection guarantees of the New Jersey Constitution as interpreted by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Lewis.  Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law in New Jersey.
Republican Governor Chris Christie opposes marriage equality and has previously vetoed legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry in New Jersey despite super-majority popular support for marriage equality among New Jersey voters.

If the Governor does not appeal the ruling then same-sex couples will be able to start getting married starting October 21.

Hat/tip to Joe.My.God

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