New Jersey Court Rules Gay Marriages Must Be Allowed

New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday that gay marriage will be allowed in the state. The ruling came after Governor Chris Christie requested putting same-sex marriages on hold while the state appeals court hears a case in the matter.

With the court’s decision made, New Jersey will become the 14th state to permit gay marriage, along with the District of Columbia. The appeal will be heard in January, and the law will either be revoked or made permanent.

In the meantime, Reuters reports that the court’s decision on Friday could be a precursor for what is to come. All seven judges ruled that the state had “not shown a reasonable probability it will succeed on the merits.”

Christie’s spokesman released a statement about the state supreme court’s decision, saying that the governor ordered local officials to allow gay marriage on Monday in accordance with the ruling.

USA Today notes that a lower court judge already ruled that New Jersey should allow gay marriages starting Monday, but the administration requested a stay. The ruling suggests the administration’s prospects for an appeal of the law are slim. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote in the decision:

“The State has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today. The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative.”

Gay marriage advocates praised the court’s decision, including assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat from Mercer County who is openly gay. Gusciora commented that he hopes the Christie administration will act quickly to provide guidance for municipalities who will likely deal with an increase in couples looking to get married.

Gusciora was happy with the state supreme court’s ruling, saying, “Equality has won out once again and I thank the Supreme Court for ruling on the side of justice.” The Christie administration is expected to argue against New Jersey’s gay marriage law in front of the state’s top court in January.

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