Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Joy in Jersey: Gays Can Wed!

Marriage equality lives in New Jersey, as well as Massachusetts!

Massachusetts has a buddy again. One of the breadbasket of the colonies approved same-sex marriage through the New Jersey Supreme Court decision today.

The Lewis v. Harris case has dragged on for four years. Seven same-sex couples, including five with children, sued for the equal protections and benefits freely given to mixed-sex couples.

Let us dance a small civil-rights and marriage equality jig in their honor.

Analysis shall follow. Read the decision here. First look at the whole decision here.

Key factors include that this is a strong affirmation of marriage equality. The court gave the legislature the option, as the Massachusetts high court did of amending marriage laws or trying to implement something with all the rights and protections. We're betting heavily on marriage, and quickly.

Meanwhile revel in the finding:
Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed samesex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to samesex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.
As the Supreme Judicial Court here ruled, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered, "To bring the State into compliance with Article I, Paragraph 1 so that plaintiffs can exercise their full constitutional rights, the Legislature must either amend the marriage statutes or enact an appropriate statutory structure within 180 days of the date of this decision."

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Anonymous said...

N.J. Court Rejects Gay Marriage

massmarrier said...

Nope, they haven't waded through the 90 pages, or even the first few. Check the highlights.

This is the type of ruling we had here. Our legislature had half a year to do marriage or build a whole separate civil union type with all the rights and protections. Marriage alone offers that.

Do check the decision.