TRENTON – The state Supreme Court decision to allow gay marriage starting on Monday was a unanimous ruling today.
The court on Friday afternoon brushed aside the state’s contention that it should allow the democratic process “a chance to play out.’’ The court has set oral arguments for early next year.
The court said, instead, that “We find that the compelling public interest in this case is to avoid violations of the constitutional guarantee of equal treatment for same-sex couples.”
The court, perhaps offering a glimpse into next year’s proceedings, ruled today that same-sex couples are being denied equal treatment under the law.
Steven Goldstein, who was the founder of Garden State Equality, said in a release that “Imagine the happiness you’d feel if you won the Super Bowl, the Nobel Prize and an Academy Award all in a single moment, and multiply it by a million. That’s how we LGBT New Jerseyans feel right now.”
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, one of the Legislature’s two openly gay lawmakers, said that “History will be made in New Jersey. Equality has won out once again and I thank the Supreme Court for ruling on the side of justice.
“I hope the Christie administration will quickly get its act in gear to give towns the guidance they need to begin making this dream a reality for the thousands of gay couples who have waited too long to be treated equally.”
Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality, cheered the news, but issued a cautionary note.
“The struggle for marriage equality in New Jersey has been a long one,” he said. “And we’ve been within inches of the finish line before — whether it was in the Supreme Court in 2006, with the Legislature in 2010, or with the governor in 2012 — only to see the finish line pulled back.”
New Jersey United For Marriage Campaign Manager Michael Premo said that “This is an amazing moment in New Jersey history, and we rejoice with our family and friends who will finally be able to get married.”
And Garden State Equality Executive Director Troy Stevenson said “Today the New Jersey Supreme Court has stood on the side of equality and refused to delay the freedom to marry. We have been fighting an uphill battle for the dignity of marriage for years and we are finally within sight of the summit. However, this is not the time to rest – it is the time to recommit, it is the time to pull out all the stops. We have to continue to push because we are in the fight of our lives.”
Activists called for the Legislature to override the gubernatorial veto of the same-sex marriage bill.