[personal profile] jeneralist
Today, the NJ Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that:

  • same-sex couples must be afforded the same rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples;

  • the current Domestic Partnership Act does not bridge the inequality between committed same-sex and heterosexual couples

  • "the Legislature must either amend the marriage statutes or enact an appropriate statutory structure within 180 days..."

In other words, the Legislature needs to enact either gay mariage, calling it "marriage," or enact civil unions that are equal to marriage. (The full decision is on-line at http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/supreme/a-68-05.pdf)

Oh, and the 4-3 vote? The dissenters said that NJ needs gay marriage under that name -- trying to develop an equivalent structure and calling it "civil unions" isn't good enough.

I'm proud of New Jersey!

Date: 2006-10-25 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rainbear.livejournal.com
T'is an interesting hatchday prezzy, that's for sure :)

Date: 2006-10-26 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dr-pretentious.livejournal.com
Oh, and the unanimous bit of the opinion adds that, even if the state doesn't want to call it marriage but rather elects for civil unions, that same-sex couples will be able to call their relationships whatever they want to.

Date: 2006-10-26 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeneralist.livejournal.com
What I am intrigued by is the finding that marriage per se is not a right guaranteed by the state Constitution. There is no right to marry; but if marriage exists for opposite-sex couples, it must exist for same-sex couples by an equal protection argument.

This means that one way the state could satisfy the ruling would be to abolish civil marriage completely.



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