A state court judge in New Jersey today ruled that state officials must issue same-sex couples marriage licenses beginning October 21, but the decision is expected to be appealed by the administration of Gov. Chris Christie.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson said the state’s civil unions law harmed same-sex couples who are now missing out on federal benefits available to legally married same-sex couples. ”The ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts,” Jacobson wrote, specifically citing federal pension benefits, federal tax benefits and the applicability of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
The lawsuit claiming New Jersey’s civil unions law was insufficient was brought by the groups Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal.