Lawyers representing Governor Chris Christie in a legal challenge
to the state's ban on gay marriage argued Thursday that gay couples
should instead sue the federal government for not recognizing their
“The New Jersey constitution cannot create a state remedy for
the federal government acting under federal law,” Kevin Jespersen
of the New Jersey Attorney General's Office said.
Plaintiffs in the case asked Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson to
skip a trial in favor of a quick ruling, arguing that the Supreme
Court's June decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) makes it clear that the state's civil unions law fails to
satisfy a 2006 New Jersey Supreme Court ruling declaring that gay
couples are entitled to the same rights and benefits that married
heterosexual couples enjoy.
Garden State Equality attorney Lawrence Lustberg refuted the
state's position, saying that “federal benefits depend on
“After Windsor, that is true whether the couples are of
the same sex or different. That is what Windsor changed,”
“This is all caused by the state, it begins with the state, and
it could end with the state,” Lustberg told the court, according to
Judge Jacobson expressed skepticism toward the state's arguments
but also appeared to be leaning toward a full trial, rather than
issuing a summary judgment. A ruling is expected in September.