All posts edited by Madeline Ricchiuto.

Monday, October 21, 2013

New Jersey - Gay Marriage...What Now?

As I hope many of you have heard, earlier today New Jersey became the 14th state to allow same sex couples the right to marry! After many years of hard work by organizations like Garden State Equality, the courts ruled that same sex couples were being denied an equal right and ordered marriages to start today October 21st. 

After petitions from both Governor Christie and many in the state legislature, the Supreme Court of New Jersey decided to consider the appeal filed by the State before today. Friday afternoon they finally released their decision to allow the marriages to start and refused Christie's appeal for a stay. It was an exciting moment and it led to even more exciting moments all day today as couples from all across the state- previously denied the joy and privilege of being married- finally realized their dreams.

You can see tons of photos all over the internet, and the joy and energy expressed in them is both profound and touching. 

There is now a further question to address before the journey of this tale is over, however. Now that the courts have said that the state must allow same sex couples to marry, what happens to all of the people already in state recognized civil unions? Furthermore, what about all the various laws surrounding marriages? What about tax exemptions? It would seem to me that either the courts need to make some clarification or legislation needs to be passed.

It seems best to my mind that legislation be passed, then not only would this new practice be backed by judicial authority, but also democratic authority. It would make a very large statement to override Christie's veto and it would settle many matters that are still up in the air due to the judicial decision. For those of you who aren't aware, the group New Jersey United for Marriage, has been spearheading the campaign to override Christie's veto and they are damn good at it. 

History has been made in these past few months, weeks, and days and it is a time to celebrate! But don't forget that even when this is all settled there is always more that can be done.


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