Same-sex marriage forces argue to N.J. high court not to grant stay

TRENTON – The clock is ticking toward Monday’s deadline for same-sex couples to begin to marry in New Jersey.

The forces fighting for that right argued to the state Supreme Court today what they have in the past: The state can’t establish irreparable harm, the practice of balancing requires that deference be given to the harm suffered by same-sex couples who cannot acquire federal benefits, and that there is no “public interest” in denying a class of citizens their rights.

The state had previously argued to the high court that even the trial court judge, Mary Jacobson, had recognized the complexities of the case, that it posed “analytical difficulties’’  and “difficult issues of federalism.’’ As a result, the state has said the state Supreme Court should be given time to give the case meaningful review.

Jacobson last month ruled that starting on Monday, same-sex couples in New Jersey should be allowed to marry.

Both sides asked the high court to take up the case immediately, which it has agreed to do.  Oral arguments won’t be heard before the high court until next year, leaving the matter of a stay of the Jacobson order still to be decided.

Same-sex marriage forces argue to N.J. high court not to grant stay