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New Jersey Supreme Court denies stay of lower court ruling allowing gay marriage

There's 'no public interest' in depriving gay couples' constitutional right to equal protection, ruling says

The New Jersey Supreme Court has denied the state's motion to stay Judge Mary Jacobson's gay-marriage ruling. Credit: nj.com

Gay marriages in New Jersey can proceed on Oct 21 after the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled against Governor Chris Christie's motion to stop them, according to an Oct 18 Lambda Legal release.

"Like Judge Jacobson, we can find no public interest in depriving a group of New Jersey residents of their constitutional right to equal protection while the appeals process unfolds," the court says.

On Sept 27, Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that New Jersey had to allow same-sex marriage, beginning Oct 21. Christie's administration asked for a stay of the Jacobson ruling and appealed it at the state Supreme Court. But Jacobson rejected the request for a stay, saying it would allow the state to continue violating gay couples' rights, a decision with which the state's Supreme Court today concurred.

"The long wait in New Jersey is finally over," said Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal and the organization's lead attorney on the case. "The door is open for love, commitment and equality under the law. This is a huge victory for New Jersey's same-sex couples and their families."

Gorenberg added, "Take out the champagne glasses — wedding bells will soon be ringing in New Jersey."

The New Jersey Supreme Court is expected to issue a final ruling in the case next year, after it hears oral arguments in January.