new jersey map.jpgThe court rules that the State of New Jersey must provide for some way for gay couples to enter into legally-recognized unions.
* Committed same-sex couples “must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”
* The 4-3 ruling rests upon the New Jersey Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. Translation: The buck stops here. Nyah nyah.
* Unlike the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, New Jersey’s high court did not mandate bestowing upon gay unions the magical “M” word, “Marriage.”
* Instead, what to label this legal relationship will be decided by the legislative process. So expect it to get called “civil union” (as in Vermont).
* The state legislature has 180 days to enact the legislation providing for same-sex unions.
You can access the opinions, as a PDF file, by clicking here.
N.J. Court Backs Rights for Same-Sex Unions [New York Times]
New Jersey Court Sends Gay Marriage to Legislature [Reuters]
NJ Court Stops Short of Gay Marriage OK [Associated Press]
Lewis v. Harris (PDF)


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