TRENTON — The governor of New Jersey has decided to end his fight to defend marriage between one man and one woman, directing his attorneys to drop their appeal of a lawsuit that sought to force state officials to permit homosexual “marriages.”
As previously reported, the Supreme Court of New Jersey unanimously ruled on Friday to uphold a lower court order that mandated officials to allow same-sex “marriages” to be performed and recognized in the state.
While New Jersey permits civil unions, it has not heretofore recognized homosexual “marriages.” Judge Mary Jacobson of the Mercer County Superior Court ruled late last month that civil unions are not enough, as homosexual residents are missing out on “certain federal benefits that legally married same-sex couples are able to enjoy.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie then appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court, but the justices of the court agreed with Jacobson that ceremonies must be allowed to move forward.
“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 opinion, written by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, stated. “The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative.”
On Monday, homosexual “wedding” ceremonies commenced at midnight at a number of locations throughout the state, including in Newark, where Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker presided over the gathering. As previously reported, Booker, a professing Christian who attends a Baptist church in Newark, had a Christian man removed from the room after he expressed an objection, stating, “This is unlawful in the eyes of God and Jesus Christ.”
After the ceremonies went forward, Christie opted to drop his appeal, thus ending the fight to defend marriage in the state.
“Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law,” Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak outlined in a statement. “The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”
While some cheered the decision, others blasted Christie for backing down in the face of evil.
“We are disappointed that Governor Christie dropped the appeal, surrendering the moral authority of the executive branch,” New Jersey Family Policy Council President Dan Leo wrote in a release on Monday. “But we especially condemn the New Jersey Supreme Court’s efforts to reshape this state after their own ideology, leaving the natural family without an advocate and religious liberty twisting in the wind.”
Leo said that he fears Christians throughout the state will soon suffer as a result of the ruling, just like others have across the nation.
“[The court] has included no provision for religious exemptions, meaning we will soon see people threatened with intolerable choices between their consciences and their authorization to minister to the needy or conduct business with the public, as has happened elsewhere in this nation from Vermont to New Mexico,” he stated. “Ahead of us is a constitutional crisis.”