NJ Judge Refuses to Delay Start of Gay Marriage
A judge refused Thursday to delay the start of same-sex marriage in New Jersey until a legal appeal can be settled, denying efforts by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to put off gay weddings.
As it stands, the state must grant marriage licenses for same-sex couples starting Oct. 21. But the administration of Christie, a Republican who is considered a possible presidential candidate for 2016, was expected to appeal the denial of the stay to a higher court.
"Granting a stay would simply allow the state to continue to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest," Judge Mary Jacobson wrote.
Christie’s administration has already asked the state Supreme Court to weigh in on an earlier ruling by Jacobson, who ruled then that the state had to allow gay marriage.
Jacobson also ruled Thursday that the start of nuptials did not have to be delayed, finding the state was not likely to win its appeal and that it would not hurt the state if same-sex marriage licenses are issued.
Gay couples who want to wed "would suffer many hardships of constitutional magnitude if the stay were to be issued, but the state has not demonstrated how it would suffer in any meaningful way if the order is enforced," she wrote.