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NJ Groups Plan to Take Gay Marriage Case to State Courts

Friday, January 08, 2010

New Jersey's State Senate rejected a bill to grant same sex couples the right to marry by a vote of 20 to 14. Now, marriage equality advocates say they will press their case in the state's courts.

Minutes after the Senate roll call Leslie Gabel-Brett, director of LAMDA Legal, said the State Senate had ignored a 2006 landmark State Supreme Court ruling on the rights of same sex couples to equal protection.

"The promise of the unanimous decision in Lewis V. Harris remains unfulfilled. Same sex couples and their families can not wait any longer. We are going back to court."

John Tomicki with the Coalition to Protect and Preserve Marriage says instead of the Courts, voters should have the final say.

"Our Supreme Court has a great tendency to legislate from the bench. They have said since the legislature has failed to act, here we will make new law. We're going to define death this way...the public is becoming very wary of it," Tomicki says.

Several legislators said they will revisit the state's existing Civil Union law to remedy problems flagged by same sex couples and their children during hearings on the marriage bill.

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