Following the recent example of the New York Senate, the New Jersey Senate has defeated marriage-equality legislation. Will the New Jersey Supreme Court have opportunity to revisit its ruling in Lewis v. Harris, 188 N.J. 415 (2006), given findings of a legislative-appointed commission on the inherent inequalities of New Jersey's civil union law? We may find out. Steven Goldman, chairman of Garden State Equality, told The Star-Ledger that advocates will pursue a judicial remedy: "We are not waiting out the term of any new administration to bring equality to same-sex couples in our state." Opponents of the New Jersey Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act (A2978/S1967) say they favor letting the voters decide the issue in a referendum on the state's marriage laws. (N.J.S.A. 37:1-1 to 37:2-41)
The Star-Ledger provides full coverage of the emotionally wrenching debate, with videos. Journalist Karen Ocamb, reviewing the debate here, includes the "back-to-court" press release by Garden State Equality.)
01/07/10 Lamda Legal:
On January 7, 2009, Lambda Legal announced plans to return to court after the New Jersey Senate failed to pass a marriage bill, effectively ending any hope for further action this session.01/07/10 Leonard Link, by law professor Arthur Leonard:
The New Jersey Senate's action in the face of this finding by its duly authorized commission leaves proponents of same-sex marriage no choice but to go back to the state courts. Now there is a hearing record upon which to argue the equality point. The court, among the nation's most fair-minded in civil liberties matters, should respond accordingly.01/07/10 WordinEdgewise, by law professor John Culhane:
Thus concludes (a few days late) the 2009 political season on the issue of marriage equality, one that started with such promise but — with the exception of D.C. — ended so dismally. Yet every public debate, every chance to bring this message forward, is itself a step towards victory. Opponents have no arguments left, and it’s just a matter of time before the ramparts fall.