Hoping to capitalize on yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act, Lamda Legal said today it plans to sue on behalf of six same-sex couples, seeking to gain the right to marry.
“The demise of DOMA Section 3 means that New Jersey’s marriage discrimination is all that bars same-sex couples and their families from the full range of federal rights, benefits, and protections. With this new legal landscape, New Jersey’s same-sex couples and their children need swift action,” said Hayley Gorenberg, Lambda Legal Deputy Legal Director. “In Lambda Legal’s original New Jersey marriage case, Lewis v. Harris the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that it is unconstitutional to give same-sex couples lesser rights than different-sex couples. In 2013, after the defeat of DOMA, there is nothing left to debate – couples in civil unions are not being treated equally under the law.”
With the invalidation of DOMA, many same-sex marriage advocates say the court is their fastest and best option to gain marital rights in the state.
Several legislators said yesterday they plan to revisit the issue in the Legislature, where it passed early last year but was later vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.
For his part, the governor last night decried the decision by the court, calling it an insult to the Congress that passed the act.