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NY Times Headline but no article:

"New Jersey Court Rules That State Must Allow Gay Marriage."

That's all I have at the moment.

Ah, here we go:

Judge Mary Jacobson of the Mercer County Superior Court ruled Friday that gay couples can marry in the Garden State starting October 21.

"This unequal treatment requires that New Jersey extend civil marriage to same-sex couples to satisfy equal protection guarantees of the New Jersey Constitution as interpreted by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Lewis," wrote the judge. "Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution."

Jacobson said she made her decision in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on United States v. Windsor, but the ruling is likely to be appealed.

The link above has the decision embedded via Scribed.

12:10 PM PT: Ah, I see another diary got there first.

12:18 PM PT: From the decision:

Because plaintiffs... cannot access many federal marital benefits as partners in civil unions, this court holds that New Jersey's denial of marriage to same-sex couples now violated Article 1... of the New Jersey Constitution as interpreted by the NJ Supreme Court in Lewis v Harris... As a result, the court will grant plaintiffs' motion for summary judgement and will permit any and all same-sex couples... to marry in New Jersey.
12:22 PM PT:
If the trend of federal agencies deeming civil union partnerships ineligible for benefits continues, plaintiffs will suffer even more... This unequal treatment requires that New Jersey extend civil marriage to same-sex couples... Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protections.

12:24 PM PT: A link to the full decision as a PDF.

12:24 PM PT: 12:25 PM PT:
To allow the State adequate time to effectuate this ruling or to pursue appellate remedies, the court directs that it take effect on October 21, 2013.

12:28 PM PT: This could affect whether and how likely it is that the NJ Legislature overrides Christie's veto.  On the one hand, it could make legislators more willing to vote for marriage equality on the assumption that it is inevitable. On the other, it could make them want to simply "let the courts handle it." even if that means waiting for a length appeals process before any marriages are ever allowed.

2:02 PM PT: Christie will appeal.

But Gov. Chris Christie, who opposes gay marriage, vowed today to appeal the ruling all the way to the state Supreme Court.

"Governor Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day," said Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak. "Since the Legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination.”

The case could take months to reach New Jersey's highest court. The governor's office did not say whether it would seek to freeze Jacobson's order while the appeal is pending.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women, Angry Gays, LGBT Kos Community, Kossacks for Marriage Equality, and LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

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