A New Jersey judge ruled today that the state must allow same sex couples to wed.
Judge, Mary C. Jacobson of State Superior Court in Mercer County ordered that, “Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution.” By not allowing same sex couples to wed, New Jersey deprives them of rights that are now guaranteed by the federal government.
Although New Jersey allows, civil unions, the Judge noted
The ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts . . .civil union partners who are federal employees living in New Jersey are ineligible for marital rights with regard to the federal pension system, all civil union partners who are employees working for businesses to which the Family and Medical Leave Act applies may not rely on its statutory protections for spouses, and civil union couples may not access the federal tax benefits that married couples enjoy.
This ruling is based upon the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v Windsor, which struck down DOMA and required the Federal government to recognize same sex marriages.