A gay rights activist holds a sign outside the New Jersey Statehouse in June.
TRENTON, NJ (Asbury Park Press) -- The state Supreme Court has turned down
Gov. Chris Christie's administration request to delay same-sex
marriages, clearing the way for the weddings to begin Monday.
Christie administration has also appealed a lower court decision that
the state should allow same-sex marriages, and the high court is
expected to hear arguments and render a decision on the broader issue
over the next three months.
ruling was on the request by the state to stay, or delay, the marriages
until the broader issue is decided. The ruling by the justices against
the motion was unanimous, a sign that the administration's prospects for
the full appeal are bleak.
State has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome
this reality: same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally
under the law today. The harm to them is real, not abstract or
speculative," wrote Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in the decision.
applied settled legal standards and determined that the state has not
shown a reasonable probability it will succeed on the merits,'' Rabner
Goldstein, the former head of Garden State Equality, which filed the
original lawsuit with other parties, said the court's decision on the
stay allows the same-sex couples to "begin to tear down its Berlin Wall
separating straight people who have had total freedom and LGBT who have
happiness you'd feel if you won the Super Bowl, the Nobel Prize and an
Academy Award all in a single moment, and multiply it by a million.
That's how we LGBT New Jerseyans feel right now," Goldstein said.
Reed Gusciora, a Mercer County Democrat who is openly gay, said he
hoped the Christie administration would move quickly to provide guidance
to municipalities dealing with an influx of same-sex couples seeking to
"Equality has won out once again and I thank the Supreme Court for ruling on the side of justice," Gusciora said.