Three Republican lawmakers filed a
motion to intervene Monday to defend against a New Jersey lawsuit to
win gay marriage.
Senators Gerald Cardinale and Anthony
R. Bucco, along with Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, are being
represented by the Christian-based group Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).
Gay rights group Lambda Legal filed the
suit earlier in the month after New Jersey 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.
Lambda Legal is representing six gay
and lesbian couples plus the surviving spouse from a seventh in its
challenge. The lawsuit claims civil unions are not equal to
“There's more to marriage than just
any two people in a committed relationship,” ADF Senior Legal
Counsel Austin R. Nimocks said in a statement. “At this time in
history, we should be strengthening marriage, not tearing it down.
Instead, activists are seeking to redefine marriage for all New
Jersey citizens by resurrecting an already-resolved, three-year-old
lawsuit with the goal of forcing legislators to redefine marriage
against their will.”
“This renewed attack utterly dispels
the myth that civil unions will appease such activists,” he added.
“Instead, they seek to use them as a legal springboard to redefine
Plaintiff's lawyers, however, argue
that the Legislature has failed to meet the New Jersey Supreme
“Civil unions are a failed
legislative experiment in providing equality in New Jersey,” Hayley
Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal, said, “Marriage
equality is the only solution.”
All three lawmakers have publicly said
they oppose giving gay couples the right to marry.