Christie Administration Urges NJ Judge: Don’t Issue Quick Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

Chris Christie's government has filed a brief in a case challenging the state's civil union law, urging a New Jersey judge to not hastily grant marriage equality, the AP reports:

Mj_christieThe state says gay rights advocates may be misinterpreting details of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in their push to get gay marriage recognized in New Jersey, that the issue is not ready to be decided yet and that a quick ruling would be inappropriate.

"Plaintiffs, by virtue of their summary judgment motion, seek to side-step the Supreme Court mandate concerning the need for a factual record," the state Attorney General's Office says in its brief.

The filing Friday is the first legal word from the administration of Gov. Chris Christie in a legal tactic that flows directly from a June U.S. Supreme Court decision that invalidates the key components of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which had prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex nuptials.

The judge is set to hear arguments on the case on August 15 and the state wants a full trial in order to buy time:

In its brief, the state says it believes the federal ruling will give couples in civil unions federal marriage benefits even if they live in states where they are not recognized as married. The state notes that some federal agencies are considering extending protections to non-married gay couples. The state also argues that New Jersey courts should show caution because there's a dispute over the question.


  1. HadrenoughBS says

    Partial does not equate to full, Governor. Surely you, of all people, should understand the concept of proportionality. Your administration needs to get its act together and give full recognition to your state’s LGBT citizens.

  2. Zack says

    A commision set up by the state supreme court already found New JErsey’s civil unions to be seperate and unequal.
    This is simply stalling time.
    One final thing,let’s hope this opens the eyes of everyone who thought Christie was a moderate,he isn’t,he only looks like one because he actually does his job and works across the aisle but he is as right wing as they come.

  3. terry says

    Christie doesn’t care about anybody but himself and his presidential hopes. That goes for 911 and Sandy victims. He knows that quick response equals votes in NJ and that a slow response on gay issues equals votes and party support for the primaries. As 2016 approaches watch him move to the right.

  4. Kevin says

    KT,NJ’s response to that is the people suing should be going after the federal government and not the state that is keeping the seperate and unequal civil unions in place.

  5. Patric says

    Agree, Zack, KT and Terry.

    New Jersey is the one and only example of a state where a single individual is all that stands in the way of achieving marriage equality. Christie not only vetoed the marriage equality bill passed by the New Jersey legislature; he shamefully denounced the Supreme Court’s ruling in Edie Windsor’s case invalidating Section 3 of DOMA. That earned a well-deserved rebuke from the openly lesbian daughter of our ally and Christie’s opponent this November, Senator Buono.

    Allegedly progressive or Democratic New Jerseyites flirting with the idea of voting for Christie should consider the possible consequences for 2016. While there is much resentment against Christie among the Republican base and that that will pose a formidable hurdle for him in 2016, the same could have been said about Mitt Romney four years ago (though admittedly Romney faced a weaker field of opponents for the nomination than Christie might). Just as those allegedly progressive or Democratic Bay Staters who’d voted for the seemingly harmless Romney for Governor in 2002 would have borne great responsibility had he succeeded in capturing the White House in 2012, those New Jerseyites who vote for Christie or stay home this year will bear great responsibility if Chris Christie ever becomes the person appointing right-wing judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts.

    The odds are very long to stop Christie this year but that should not deter us from doing our part to support our ally Senator Barbara Buono. There have been other examples in the not so distant past – such as the 1997 New Jersey gubernatorial election and the 2009 NYC mayoral election – where a Republicanish candidate seen as invincible barely survived a much closer call than expected from a not-well-know Dem challenger. At a minimum, we need to put up a fight against this man who is waging war against us.

  6. anon says

    Buono is not even popular among Democrats in NJ.

    The problem started with Jon Corzine, who had the marriage equality bill squashed when he was gov. It’s been a political football ever since.

    The state supreme court has already granted summary review from their prior ruling, so there would be no need for a new trial unless this case involves a new issue, such as the DOMA ruling.

    Christie’s conservative 2016 campaign strategy seems pretty inept so far.

  7. enough already says

    I am reminded of the scene near the end of Rocky Horror Picture Show in which the chorus sings ‘delay, delay’.
    If civil unions offer all the benefits of marriage, then there’s no reason not to call them marriage.
    If they don’t, then the New Jersey courts have already ruled that New Jersey must set things equal for all of us.
    In short, I see no reason why the court should try to ‘interpret’ anything here.
    Slap this fat slap of arrogant christian hate down and give us back our rights!

  8. says

    In other words, marriage equality is being held hostage in NJ to Christie’s oversized political aspirations. He’s trying to hide behind (as if!) thin and illogical reasoning.

    As others have said, the NJ court has already ruled that gay couples are entitled to the same benefits and protections as straight couples. The clear and obvious way to do this after the Supreme Court DOMA ruling is to get rid of separate-is-not-equal in NJ. There is no evidence that the federal government will treat CUs the same as marriage–and why would they? CUs are not marriage. They are less-than-marriage and always will be.

  9. QJ201 says

    My governor is such a tool. Only interested in his own career aspirations…and he was a Bush attack dog before being anointed governor after Corzine destroyed his own chances at re-election

  10. bructer says

    It’s simple he needs to play to the Repub base and they are staunchly against same sex marriage. So he and his political cronies have decided that it is in his best interest to go hard on this issue. He doesn’t care a right and wrong.

  11. Francis #1 says

    This is a good rundown on what’s happening in New Jersey. We need to remember that everything that happened regarding New Jersey courts ruling that New Jersey same-sex couples require equal rights occurred before DOMA Sec.2 was struck down. Both sides are trying to take advantage of that.

    It will be interesting to see how everything shakes down.

  12. says

    @Francis: It was Section 3 of DOMA that was struck down. The link does provide a good legal overview, but it leaves out the real reason for the conflict (Christie’s political ambitions), and it makes the state’s (Christie’s) position seem more rational than it really is. In fact, Lambda has the winning argument, especially after the SCOTUS decision, since there is no reason to believe the federal government will treat CUs as equal to marriage, and if they are considered equal to marriage, then there is no reason to call them CUs.

    DOMA 3 being struck down stripped away all logic from the separate-but-equal argument; now it’s just Christie playing stall tactics at his gay constituents’ expense.

  13. Francis #1 says

    Yeah, sorry, I didn’t mean to put Section 2 (literally, typing error), Ernie. And I agree with you. Chris Christie/New Jersey doesn’t have a leg to stand on at all.

  14. Connie says

    Proverbs 23:2 proclaims…”Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” Of course that comes from a science fiction novel…but if the shoe fits.

  15. Bob says


    I keep saying “He needs to keep the conservative catholic groups and the bishops happy — they are his power base”
    I am still not understanding why NJ catholics are not boycotting the church

  16. walter says

    yeah please don’t issue a hasty ruling and make christie look like a bigger ass than already is. and especially dont do it until after the election . it will help my opponent

  17. Craig says

    Why should we have to sue the Federal government? The State of New Jersey should be suing. They are the ones claiming civil unions are equal. It’s time to put up or shut up, put the full resources of the state behind the fight for civil union equality!

  18. JOHN says

    Clearly, the lack of a statutory basis will not prevent States from being forced to adopt what they would not adopt through democratic procedures (i.e., a bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor)–which is why this whole process has nothing to do with democracy and everything with judicial usurpation.

  19. JT says

    Christie Administration Urges NJ Judge: Don’t Issue Quick Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

    …because I vetoed it once against the wishes of New Jerseyans.

    …because of my religious views.

    …because you won’t have your job for long.

    …because you’ll put a wrench in my strategic aspirations to the presidency.

    …because I got my stomach stapled so I could lose a hundred pounds before the 2016 elections to make me more palatable “figuratively”.

    …because I believe in the Patriot Act and Citizens United.

    …because I don’t think there should be separation of Church and State.

    It could go on and on!

Leave A Reply