New Jersey Embraces Marriage Equality

In case you haven’t heard, New Jersey has become the newest state in the union to recognize same-sex marriage. Attorney General John Hoffman was advised earlier today by Governor Chris Christie to withdraw the state’s appeal of a ruling allowing gay marriage. In a statement, Christie notes that in their unanimous ruling to deny the governor’s attempt to postpone gay marriage, State Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner identified that, “same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today.” Christie’s statement continued:
“The Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law. The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his Administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”
This is the fourteenth example of a growing trend for states to include homosexuals in their married communities. Today’s ruling is just one in a line of other legal fights across the country. Oregon has begun recognizing marriage licenses issued outside the state. Talks of allowing same-sex unions in Hawaii and Illinois are also beginning. Lawsuits challenging gay marriage bans are also pending in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. On the flip side of the argument there are also states like Indiana where same-sex marriage is actually illegal. Many states have made the effort to make recognition difficult, but in the Hoosier state, laws make it a felony for a same-sex couple even to apply for a marriage license and a misdemeanor for a clergy member to solemnize such a marriage– the provisions are part of Indiana Code 31-11-11. North Carolina looks poised to fight against its most recent constitutional amendment from 2012. Attorney General Roy Cooper has stated that he supports same-sex marriage, though he will defend the state’s constitution. Talk of challenging the ban started when The Campaign for Southern Equality began their “We Do” campaign—going from county to county trying to find someone to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger accepted 10 such licenses.
“If the attorney general says he will not allow me to issue marriage licenses, then I will respect the law of the land. But if he grants me permission to issue these marriage licenses, I will be excited to be the first in the South to make that happen,” he said.
While IN and NC seem to be slow in coming around, Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement after NJ withdrew its appeal:
“At long last, the freedom to marry is now permanently law of the land in New Jersey. The marriages of loving, committed couples throughout the Garden State, combined with Governor Christie’s withdrawal of his appeal, is joyous news to New Jerseyans, both gay and non-gay. The momentum continues to build nationwide and we are working hard to deliver victories in Hawaii, Illinois and New Mexico yet in 2013.”
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ About Liberal America writer Roel Escamillla Jr. My name is Roel Escamilla Jr. I am a Marine. Currently I am a student at UNCW. I am studying International Conflict Management and Resolution with an emphasis on sectarian violence. I am married and have a beautiful 9 year old daughter. Currently I write for the UNCW SeaHawk– a campus newspaper. I teach Martial Arts at a local gym and I am a board member for a 501C Organization. I am also the president of Islamic Outreach of Jacksonville, NC.

Author: The Blue Route

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