Friday, August 16, 2013
Courts - NJ citizens have civil unions, but not marriage equality
Some quotes from an editorial in Thursday's NYT:
A civil rights suit to be heard on Thursday in a New Jersey state court could finally change that. Brought on behalf of six couples and Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s largest gay rights group, the case squarely addresses an urgent legal question for New Jersey that grows out of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June that ended the unjust denial of federal marriage benefits for married same-sex couples under the federal Defense of Marriage Act. * * *
Now that married same-sex couples are eligible for federal benefits, like joint tax filing and veteran’s survivor payments, New Jersey couples in civil unions who are denied those benefits face an even bigger equality gap: they are clearly not afforded the same rights. In July, the plaintiffs in this suit filed a motion for a summary judgment asking the state court to declare what the Supreme Court ruling made obvious: New Jersey civil unions are not equal to marriage and violate the State Constitution. * * *
In a brief filed on behalf of the Christie administration, the state’s acting attorney general, John Hoffman, veered between urging caution in redefining marriage and trying to shift the blame for discrimination to the federal government. It bizarrely suggests that federal agencies are blocking equality by declining to grant benefits to civil union partners, as if the state’s refusal to allow same-sex couples to marry did not cause the denial of benefits in the first place.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 16, 2013 03:26 PM
Posted to Courts in general