TRENTON – Gay marriage in New Jersey will be legal starting on Monday.
The N.J. Supreme Court ruled today that it will not issue a stay of a lower court ruling. That means starting Monday, gay couples can apply for their licenses, and three days later, they can wed. Some towns already had begun issuing licenses so couples could wed right away.
According to activists, there are expected to be numerous same-sex ceremonies around the state in short order.
The state’s high court decided not to put a hold on the Sept. 27 ruling of Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson that starting Oct. 21, same-sex weddings should be allowed.
Both sides of the argument asked the high court to take up the case, which it has agreed to do. Oral arguments are scheduled for early next year.
But with today’s decision, New Jersey becomes one of the last Northeast states to have gay marriages. Pennsylvania still does not permit them.
Same-sex marriage supporters have argued that in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year concerning the Defense of Marriage Act, New Jersey’s civil union law is a violation of couples’ rights, and must give way to a gay marriage law.
In anticipation of today’s decision, openly gay Assemblyman Tim Eustace, (D-38), Paramus, issued a statement about his 31-year relationship and the ongoing efforts to win a legislative override of Gov. Chris Christie’s veto last year of a gay marriage bill.
“The recent court rulings have undoubtedly added momentum to our efforts. But the fact remains: passing marriage in the Legislature is the quickest route to the freedom to marry in New Jersey,” Eustace said.