Saturday, October 26, 2013

New Jersey - Marriage Equality Through Dialogue //NJ Law Journal Editorial Board

The New Jersey Supreme Court declined to stay the order of Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson allowing same-sex marriage in New Jersey.  The Law Journal's Editorial Board - long a supporter - celebrated the victory and urged the Legislature to override Governor Chris Christie's veto of S.1 which would embed the right in statute - and provide conscience protections for those - like ministers - who object on grounds of religious doctrine. - GWC
Marriage Equality Through Dialogue:by the Editorial Board of the New Jersey Law Journal
Finally, we note that the history of this issue is not that of judicial fiat. The state Supreme Court stayed its hand in Lewis in 2006, allowing the experiment of civil unions. The Legislature created civil-union status, studied it and concluded that it could not achieve equality with marriage. The Supreme Court again stayed its hand in Garden State Equality in 2011, directing the litigants to develop a factual record. In 2012, S-1 was passed but failed to become law thanks to the governor's veto. The Legislature declined, rightly we think, the governor's proposal to present the issue of minority rights to a popular referendum. But the accelerating embrace of marriage equality in America led to last summer's landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Windsor, fundamentally shifting the ground.
What we have witnessed is a complex dialogue among the three branches of the government and an interested citizenry about evolving views. The result is a victory of democracy in action, bending the arc of history toward justice.
Board members Ronald Chen, Lawrence Lustberg and Edwin Stern recused from this editorial.
p.s. Chen filed an amicus brief for the New Jersey ACLU, Lustbeg was lead lawyer for Garden State Equality and Stern is of counsel to Gibbons,P.C. - counsel for plaintiffs.  I am a member of the Law Journal's Editorial Board. - gwc

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