Prominent gay rights group Lambda
Legal is ready to file its promised lawsuit to win gay marriage
in New Jersey.
NJ.com's blog The Auditor
reported on Sunday that the group will petition the state Supreme
Court on Thursday.
“We've lived the agony of defeat,”
Steve Goldstein, CEO of Garden
State Equality, New Jersey's largest gay advocate, told the
website. “Now it's time for the thrill of victory.”
The challenge comes after senators
killed a gay marriage bill in January. The defeat means that the
Legislature isn't likely to revisit the issue over the next four
years as Governor Chris Christie, a Republican who took the helm in
January, does not support giving gay couples the right to marry.
In Lewis v. Harris, the New
Jersey Supreme Court unanimously agreed that it is unconstitutional
to deny gay and lesbian couples the rights granted to married
heterosexual couples and ordered the Legislature to remedy the
situation. Lawmakers responded with a civil unions law.
Gay activists say New Jersey's civil
unions law is not equal to marriage.
Lambda Legal announced it would return
to court the day after senators rejected the measure.
“The requirement to ensure equality
for same-sex couples, established by the New Jersey Supreme Court in
its decision in our marriage lawsuit in 2006, has not been met,”
Kevin Cathcart, executive director of Lambda Legal, said in a
“There is enormous, heartbreaking
evidence that civil unions are not equal to marriage, and we will be
going back to the courts in New Jersey to fight for equality. Too
many families are at risk. We cannot wait any longer.”