“The ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts,” Jacobson wrote in her decision.
While a spokesperson for Gov. Chris Christie (R) — a vocal opponent of marriage equality — did not comment on the ruling to the Star-Ledger, Christie’s administration is expected to challenge Jacobson’s decision. Meanwhile, advocacy groups celebrated what they described as a great day for the state.
“Today’s decision leaves no doubt that only the freedom to marry provides the equality that same-sex families deserve,” said Udi Ofer, executive director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a statement. “We encourage the state to respect the court’s decision and to not further prolong the inequality suffered by New Jersey families.”
State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) also supported the verdict, telling the Star-Ledger she hoped Christie would not file an appeal.
“Justice has already been denied for far too long,” Oliver said to the Star-Ledger. “Let’s clear the way for equal rights for all families.”
Update, 5:05 p.m. EST:The Associated Press confirmed that Christie will appeal the ruling. A spokesman for his administration told the AP that Christie “will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination.”
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.