New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has
filed an emergency appeal to the state Supreme Court after a judge
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.
Christie, a Republican, appealed the
order to the state Supreme Court and asked Jacobson to stay her
decision until the matter is resolved. On Thursday, Jacobson denied
the request, saying that the state was unlikely to win its appeal.
In its filing, the state argues that
the decision should not be up to one judge.
“It is in the public interest that
such a profound change, if it is to occur, take place not because a
single judge – no matter how diligent, thoughtful, and thorough –
ordered it, but rather because the Supreme Court, the ultimate
arbiter, has deemed it necessary,” the
AP quoted the state's brief as saying. “To overhaul such an
ancient social institution prematurely, precipitously, or in a manner
ultimately deemed unnecessary would injure not only the public
interest, but the State that represents this interest.”
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.
Marriage equality supporters argue that
the state's civil union law unfairly burdens gay and lesbian couples
who cannot access federal benefits following the fall of the Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June.
Christie's lawyers argue that the
federal government should recognize the state's civil union law.
Christie insists he trusts New Jersey voters on gay marriage.)