Judge: Same-sex couples face ‘concrete’ harm if order had been stayed

TRENTON – In ruling against the Christie administration’s request for a stay of her Sept. 27 ruling permitting gay weddings in New Jersey as of Oct. 21, Judge Mary Jacobson rejected the state’s argument that it would suffer irreparable harm.

“The state ignores the largely abstract nature of the harm it alleges,” Jacobson ruled today, “which pales in comparison to the concrete harm caused to plaintiffs by their current ineligibility for many federal marital benefits.”

Jacobson ruled last month that New Jersey’s civil union law could not stand in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year against the Defense of Marriage Act.

Both sides in this controversy have asked the state Supreme Court to immediately take up the case, but the court has not issued a decision yet.

The state sought a stay of Jacobson’s ruling pending high court review, but Jacobson today nixed that request.

The judge in her ruling said that if a stay had been granted, the couples seeking to marry would continue to suffer rights violations for however long it takes courts to resolve the issue.

In addition, in her 17-page decision, the judge said “the state does not have a likelihood of succeeding on appeal.”

Judge: Same-sex couples face ‘concrete’ harm if order had been stayed