Citizens are ecstatic at New Jersey’s Supreme Court decision to legalize same sex marriage. Monday October 21st marks a great day for many excited citizens. Let the weddings begin!
Governor Chris Christie petitioned for a temporary hold on the lower-court ruling but was shocked as that hold has now been cleared away by a unanimous decision written by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. Supports of same-sex marriage are more than excited at this recent turn of events.
On September 27th State Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson gave the order to allow same-sex marriages after a lawsuit in Trenton argued that same-sex couples were being denied more than 1,000 federal tax and legal benefits. Jacobson ordered that starting on Monday October 21st same-sex marriages would be permitted and receive the same benefits ordinary marriages do.
A spokesman for Governor Christie indicated that Christie was not happy about the same-sex marriage legalization but he also said that he “would put no obstacles in the way of couples seeking marriage licenses next week.”
As of Monday 14 states allow for same-sex marriage and 35 states maintain bans on same-sex marriage. In chronological order, the list of legal same-sex marriages looks like this:
- Massachusetts May 17, 2004
- Connecticut November 12, 2008
- Iowa April 24, 2009
- Vermont September 1, 2009
- New Hampshire January 1, 2010
- New York July 24. 2011
- Washington December 9, 2012
- Maine December 29, 2012
- Maryland January 1, 2013
- California June 28, 2013
- Delaware July 1, 2013
- Minnesota August 1, 2013
- Rhode Island August 1, 2013
- New Jersey October 21, 2013
In addition to this list same-sex marriage is also legal in Washington D.C. The only state that has law legalizing or banning same-sex marriage is New Mexico.
Some New Jersey citizens are not happy with Christie and how long it has taken for legalization to arrive. Speaker at the state Assembly, Shelia Oliver said, “It’s a shame it took this long to get to this point and that it took a court fight for same-sex couples to gain equal rights.”
Oliver had even more to add about the matter saying, “New Jersey could have had marriage equality already if it wasn’t for Gov. Christie, who has done everything he could to prevent this from happening, including wasting money and time continuing this court battle.”
Barbara Buono, one of the State Senitors running against Christie in the upcoming year, accused Christie of delaying same-sex marriage for his own political gain. Buono has a daughter that is openly lesbian and has no doubt won over some of the citizens in support of the same-sex marriage legalization.
Even though many citizens are happy about the legalization some do not agree with how it came about. John Tomicki, president of the New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage thinks that, “the matter should have been decided by referendum and not by the courts.” The president of the National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown also said something similar. “It is extremely disappointing that the New Jersey Supreme Court has allowed the ruling of an activist judge to stand pending its appeal through the court system.”
So far only three states have made same-sex marriage legal through popular vote, whether or not that number increases in the future we’ll have to wait and see.
Written By: Garrett Jutte