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New Jersey governor Chris Christie tries to block gay marriage

Christie asks state supreme court to review county-court decision favouring gay couples

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill to legalize gay marriage in 2012. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has asked the state’s high court to hear an appeal to a county judge’s ruling allowing gay marriage, The Huffington Post reports.

Mercer County judge Mary Jacobson ruled Sept 27 that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry to receive equal treatment under the New Jersey constitution. Usually, the law would move on to an appeals court, but Christie has asked that the case be expedited directly to the state supreme court.

He has also asked for a stay on the ruling, which otherwise would come into effect on Oct 21.

Same-sex couples are permitted civil unions in New Jersey, but couples in civil unions are still not recognized by the US federal government. That means that gay couples in New Jersey do not receive benefits from the fall of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Christie vetoed a bill to legalize gay marriage in New Jersey last year.