A New Jersey judge on Thursday refused
to delay her ruling legalizing gay marriage in the state.
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson
ruled on September 27 that the state must begin issuing marriage
licenses to gay and lesbian couples as of October 21.
Republican Governor Chris Christie
appealed the order to the state Supreme Court and asked Jacobson to
stay her decision until the matter is resolved.
Christie is expected to appeal
Jacobson's order, the
“Granting a stay would simply allow
the state to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey
same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest,”
She also wrote that a delay was not
needed because the state was unlikely to win its appeal.
“[T]he state has not demonstrated how
it would suffer in any meaningful way if the order is enforced,”
Garden State Equality, the state's
largest LGBT rights advocate, and Lambda Legal are representing six
gay couples and some of their children in the case.
New Jersey is one of four states where
gay couples can enter a civil union, but not marriage – the other
three are Hawaii, Illinois and Colorado. Following a Supreme Court
decision in June which gutted much of the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA), the federal government started recognizing the unions of gay
couples in a marriage, leaving couples in a civil union at a distinct
disadvantage in terms of benefits.
“The court's decision once again
confirms that the hardships of not being able to marry are real and
immediate. Every day does count,” Hayley Gorenberg of Lambda Legal
is quoted as saying by the AP.
Christie insists he trusts New Jersey voters on gay marriage.)