Breaking from the Associated Press:
A New Jersey judge has denied a request from Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to delay the start of gay marriage in the state until after a legal appeal is final. The ruling Thursday from Judge Mary Jacobson moves the state a step closer to start recognizing same-sex nuptials on Oct. 21. That’s the day Jacobson had said in a previous ruling that the marriages had to be allowed. But Christie’s administration is expected to appeal the denial to a higher court. The administration has already asked the state Supreme Court to reverse Jacobson’s earlier ruling that the state has to allow gay couples to get married.
UPDATE: Lambda Legal reacts via press release.
In today’s decision, the Court wrote: “In making this argument, however, the State ignores the largely abstract nature of the harm it alleges, which pales in comparison to the concrete harm caused to Plaintiffs by their current ineligibility for many federal marital benefits, and the significant litigation burden they would have to shoulder to challenge federal denial of marital benefits to civil union couples.”
“This is wonderful news!” said Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director of Lambda Legal. “The court’s decision once again confirms that the hardships of not being able to marry are real and immediate. Every day does count. Allowing same-sex couples to marry helps many New Jersey families and hurts no one else.” “Momentum is with us,” said Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “All couples in New Jersey need the dignity of marriage, and they need it now. We look forward to seeing many of them, who have been denied that dignity for too long, marry in the coming weeks.”