NJ Supreme Court Refuses Stay: Marriages of Gay Couples to Begin Monday at 12:01 am

Gay couples will be able to marry at 12:01 am on Monday after the NJ Supreme Court refused to issue a stay in its ruling that the state's ban is unconstitutional

CourtBreaking from Lambda Legal:

Today the New Jersey Supreme Court, agreeing with the lower court's Sept. 27th ruling, denied the State's motion to postpone allowing same-sex couples to marry. Lambda Legal had filed a brief on behalf of Garden State Equality, New Jersey's statewide LGBT advocacy organization, and six same-sex couples who seek the freedom to marry, asking the Court to deny the motion for a stay.

In today's decision, the Court wrote:

"What is the public's interest in a case like this? Like Judge Jacobson, we can find no public interest in depriving a group of New Jersey residents of their constitutional right to equal protection while the appeals process unfolds."

Said Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director of Lambda Legal and the organization's lead attorney on the case: "The long wait in New Jersey is finally over – the door is open for love, commitment and equality under the law! This is a huge victory for New Jersey's same-sex couples and their families. Beginning October 21st, New Jersey's same-sex couples will be able to marry and have the critically important rights, benefits, and protections they need for their families. Take out the champagne glasses – wedding bells will soon be ringing in New Jersey!"

Newark Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker plans to marry a number of gay couples in the Capitol Rotunda in the first moments that it is legal to do so.


  1. jake says

    I can’t believe how much has happened in the past year. Those two wins by popular vote in Maine and Maryland last election REALLY set things into high gear.

  2. says

    Great news! Though the outcome of the case is a no-brainer to everyone but Christie’s PR machine, they could have issued a stay–but didn’t. I guess the fat lady sang. Congrats, NJ!

  3. Francis #1 says

    14 states is right! New Jersey finally, after years of disappointments, is on the side of equality! Amazing. Ha Ha, Chris Christie, you lose!

    I read thousands of couples in New Jersey have already gotten married out of state in New York and Massachusetts. The state stuck out like a sore thumb, especially considering the populous has long been for marriage equality. So happy that it’s finally come to fruition.

    There’s a rally in Montclair starting at 7 PM for people who live in New Jersey to celebrate the ruling. Congrats New Jersey gays!

  4. dearcomrade says

    “What is the public’s interest in a case like this? Like Judge Jacobson, we can find no public interest in depriving a group of New Jersey residents of their constitutional right to equal protection while the appeals process unfolds.”

    Good luck winning that appeal with the State Supreme Court after a comment like that.

    Hahahaha!!!!! Eat that Christie!

  5. Fox says

    LMAO! .. But I’m guessing Christie could actually be relieved, because now he can spin it as “judicial activism,” which always plays well with the wingnuts on the right.

  6. NotSafeForWork says

    THANK YOU to the couples who started the march to Equality in 2002:

    Mark Lewis and Dennis Winslow
    Suyin and Sarah Lael
    Saundra Toby-Heath and Alicia Heath-Toby
    Craig Hutchison and Chris Lodewyks
    Diane Marini and the late Marilyn Maneely
    Karen and Marcye Nicholson-Mcfadden
    Maureen Kilian and Cindy Meneghin

    and THANK YOU to Garden State Equality and the couples and families who kept the march going:

    Daniel Weiss and John Grant; Marsha Shapiro and Louise Walpin; Maureen Kilian and Cindy Meneghin; Sarah Kilian-Meneghin, a minor, by and through her guardians; Erica and Tevonda Bradshaw; and Teverico Barack Hayes Bradshaw, a minor, by and through his guardians; Marcye and Karen Nicholson-Mcfadden; Kasey Nicholson-Mcfadden, a minor, by and through his Guardians; Maya Nicholson-Mcfadden, a minor, by and through her guardians; Thomas Davidson and Keith Heimann; Marie Heimann Davidson, a minor, by and through her Guardians; Grace Heimann Davidson, a minor, by and through her guardians.

  7. Zlick says

    This just keeps getting better and better. I know the New Jersey case is unique (with its Supreme Court having long ago ruled civil unions must be equal to marriages, a thing now impossible) … but still, for a court to refuse a stay while an appeal is pending … that’s just remarkable and fantastic!

    So Happy for New Jersey!

  8. says

    And when will politicians realize that relying on judges to uphold the people’s rights to equality only makes the said politicians less relevant, less democratic and exposes their pandering to populism at the expense of fundamental rights.

    Cruz, Bachman, Santorum, et al……isn’t it time for a French Revolution ?

  9. NotSafeForWork says

    This is exactly the precedent we’ve been waiting for…a ruling on the language in a state constitution. This is the step that leads to nullification of the remaining state constitutional amendments and full marriage equality in the USA!

  10. rroberts says

    Given that the NJ Supremes are unanimous, Christie and his pals should drop the appeal because it’s obvious what the outcome will be. Does anyone seriously believe that the NJ Supreme Court would allow same-sex marriages to proceed and then turn around a few months later and nullify them?

  11. Francis #1 says

    As Zlick referenced, way back in 06, New Jersey’s Supreme Court ordered equality in relationships for same-sex couples. In 2009 a commission on the civil unions bill enacted by New Jersey’s legislature showed civil unions simply were not equal. The DOMA decision in June made it even more clear civil unions aren’t equal. This decision was a long time coming and is so blatantly clear cut that not issuing a stay is clearly the right decision. 14 down!

  12. Francis #1 says

    Christie says he disagrees with the ruling, believes there should be a vote but that he will comply with the ruling and help clerks issue out marriage licences and register marriages of gay couples.

    So yeah, although he has literally zero shot at winning and never has, he’s still fighting this.

  13. MiddleoftheRoader says

    Let Christie continue fighting. The NJ Supreme Court will then issue an identical decision on the “merits” of the case, and not just on a motion for a stay. While the opinion regarding the motion for a stay is great and extensive, a second (identical) ruling on the “merits” will be even stronger precedent in other states.

    New Mexico should be next; then probably Hawaii. Illinois — who knows?

    By the way, the NJ case is another testament to the legacy of US Supreme Court Justice Kennedy. By his decisions in Windsor, and Romer v Evans and Lawrence v Texas, he has done more to advance the legal rights and dignity of gay people than probably another other person in American history.

  14. says

    We need an across-the-board decision by the Federal Government. Here in TN, they’ve gone as far as to create a new holiday- “Traditional Marriage Day” in which the wording of the bill quotes The Holy Bible. Why does the State feel it has the right to continually define marriage? Exactly what is “Traditional” Marriage in Tennessee seeing as even Interracial Marriage is STILL outlawed by the State Constitution along with Same Sex Marriage? http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2013/08/on-wrong-side-of-hypocrisy-traditional.html

  15. Mary says

    Jerzeemike, I second what Paul B just said. Out of respect for you and your fiancé I’ll refrain from analyzing today’s verdict in a negative light (what I had intended to do.)

  16. Johnnybegood says

    I hate to hear myself say this…but I just can’t hold back. How can christie with such obvious flaws…one very big one…sit in judgement of anyone else at all? I’m guessing he would rather see his kid’s obese w/diabetes and heart disease before finding a same sex husband/wife. How twisted is that?

  17. Mike says

    Good! This will just be the first in a series of FAILURES for Christie into obscurity as long as he remains a member of the now Tea Party doomed ReDUMBlican Party . . .

  18. Mike says

    @JERZEEMIKE Can only offer you my deepest sympathy. You know FAR better then us HOWEVER, I am certain that your fiancé would not want you to feel like this now. Take care!

  19. says

    Condolences, JerzeeMike. My heart goes out to you. xo

    And @Mary, Mike’s story is one reason why, when the Constitution is on your side, you don’t wait till the whims of the populace are all lined up to go after civil rights. You fight for your constitutional and moral rights because waiting is a luxury not everyone has. Those who delay rights cause pain. Remember that.

  20. anon says

    A bit surprising, but then this is the most liberal state court in the country. This ruling lets all the pols in NJ off the hook, including Christie. Now they won’t have to go on record for the veto override and Christie doesn’t have to move forward with a referendum.

  21. *****overTX says

    Mary, your sympathy for Mike is noted. Now let’s hear the rest of your “negative light” story. I am sure it will be a entertaining as the others have been.

  22. says

    The no-stay ruling is only slightly surprising, @Anon; a ruling in favor of equality was a given, liberal or conservative Court. (Otherwise, they’d be contradicting their own 2006 ruling.) Christie is off the hook till his absurd appeal reappears in Jan; unless he calls it off, which would look equally ridiculous. The referendum was always a political charade since the CU law is clearly unconstitutional.

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