New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, on Monday asked
the state's top court to review a judge's ruling allowing gay
marriage in the state.
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman cited “far-reaching
implications” in making his request to the New Jersey Supreme Court
to fast-track the case.
The state's highest court generally only takes cases after an
appeals court has reviewed them.
Hoffman also asked Judge Mary Jacobson to delay the October 21
implementation date of her Friday ruling, in which she sided firmly
with proponents' arguments that without marriage gay couples in a
civil union cannot receive federal recognition and access benefits.
The state has denied that it is blocking the benefits, saying instead
that the federal government should recognize civil unions.
State Senate Democrats urged the high court to take the case at a
news conference on Monday.
“It needs to happen, and it needs to happen now,” said
Senate President Stephen Sweeney.
State Senator Raymond Lesniak chided Christie for “wasting
taxpayer dollars” fighting Jacobson's decision.
“You're defending the indefensible,” Lesniak said. “It is
inevitable that marriage equality is the law of the land in the State
of New Jersey.”
The issue is also being played out in the Legislature, where
activists are lobbying for a vote to override Christie's 2012 veto of
a marriage bill approved by lawmakers. Supporters have until
mid-January to hold the vote.