AG: Gay-marriage ruling so complex stay warranted until high court rules

TRENTON – The state argues that the same-sex marriage issue is so complex and unique that the lower court should stay its order allowing gay marriage and let the N.J. Supreme Court decide the matter.

The state filed its brief today in pursuit of a stay of Friday’s order by Judge Mary Jacobson that beginning on Oct. 21, New Jersey should allow gay marriage.

In a 37-page filing, the Attorney General’s office points out that Superior Court ventured into a “tangled thicket’’ with “no clear precedential guide.

Because the ruling on gay marriage has far-reaching implications, the lower court should allow for “meaningful appellate review,’’ the state argued.

The AG’s office also argues in its filing that if a stay is not granted, the state will suffer irreparable injury. The AG argues that any time a court prevents the state from “effectuating” statutes enacted by representatives of the people, the state is harmed.

New Jersey had a civil union law in place, but after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act deprives gays of constitutional rights, N.J. gay marriage advocates argued that New Jersey’s civil union law was also unconstitutional.

The advocates for gay marriage have until Friday to file their response to the AG’s arguments.