TRENTON — A judge in New Jersey has ordered state officials to allow same-sex ‘marriages’ to be performed and recognized in the state.
On Friday, Judge Mary Jacobson of the Mercer County Superior Court released the order, citing the recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court, which struck down key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
At issue were the state’s allowance of civil unions, but denial of same-sex “marriages.” Jacobson ruled that civil unions are missing out on “certain federal benefits that legally married same-sex couples are able to enjoy.”
“If the trend of federal agencies deeming civil union partners ineligible for benefits continues, plaintiffs will suffer even more, while their opposite-sex New Jersey counterparts continue to receive federal marital benefits for no reason other than the label placed upon their relationship by the state,” she wrote. “This unequal treatment requires that New Jersey extend civil marriage to same-sex couples to satisfy the equal protection guarantees of the New Jersey Constitution.”
As previously reported, the Supreme Court court ruled in a 5-4 decision this past June that homosexuals should be recognized by the federal government in states that have legalized same-sex “marriage.”
“The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law here in question are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the States,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote on behalf of the court. “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the state, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”
Since then, federal and state judges have been using U.S. v. Windsor as a means to force states to recognize same-sex “marriages” in varying degrees.
“It’s a pattern that’s emerging–and it’s striking,” professor David Cruz from the University of Southern California told the Wall Street Journal. “Judges are embracing [the Supreme Court’s] principles.”
“Needless to say, if other courts follow this lead, we’ll have coast-to-coast legal gay marriage as a matter of Full Faith and Credit with the only limitation on gay couples [being] their ability to travel to a pro-SSM state temporarily to get hitched,” concurred the website Hot Air.
But New Jersey Governor Christ Christie says that he will appeal Jacobson’s ruling. While he signed a law this year banning therapists and counselors from helping youth overcome homosexual temptations, Christie opposes same-sex “marriage,” and vetoed a bill last year that legalized homosexual unions.
“Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination,” he wrote in a statement following the ruling.
Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak told NPR that 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.”
The New Jersey Family Policy Council, a Christian organization that works on a grassroots level to address issues of concern in the state, outlines on its website that the concept of being “equal” under the law is being distorted and misused.
“Under current law every citizen receives equal treatment,” it explains. “Everyone has the same right to enter into a marriage relationship [of one man and one woman] as described in the law and reap the benefits.”
“If the state of New Jersey accepts the argument that people in homosexual relationships are entitled to marriage benefits based on the argument of ‘equal treatment under the law,’ what is to stop them from giving those same benefits to self-described long-term committed polygamists, incestuous couples or even adult/child couples who ‘pay taxes and participate in the community?'” the organization asks.