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Updated: New Jersey judge rules in favor of same-sex couples in marriage equality challenge

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A New Jersey judge has ruled in favor of same-sex couples who filed a lawsuit for the right to marry in the state. The ruling in Garden State Equality v. Dow is here. The judge concluded that following the Supreme Court’s decision striking down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the state must allow same-sex couples to marry.

The judge points to “the ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits” as a distinct harm caused by New Jersey’s ban. “Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey constitution,” the ruling concludes.

Same-sex marriages in the state can begin October 21.

EqualityOnTrial will have more on the ruling soon, including a searchable Scribd file.

Update (11:00 p.m. Eastern): According to an AP report, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will appeal Judge Jacobson’s pro-marriage equality ruling:

Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican in the midst of a re-election campaign and a possible presidential contender, said through a spokesman Friday he plans to appeal the decision, which he believes should be determined by a popular vote rather than a court.

The judge made the ruling effective Oct. 21, giving Christie time to appeal and likely ask a court to delay implementation of her order.

Scribd link via Metro Weekly:

New Jersey Superior Court Marriage Ruling by jsnow489


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