Marriage equality in New Jersey is now codified state law as Governor Phil Murphy announced last week that he signed a bill creating a long-awaited state law protecting same-sex marriage in the state.
“Despite the progress we have made as a country, there is still much work to be done to protect the LGBTQIA+ community from intolerance and injustice,” Murphy said in a statement.
The law makes an almost decade-long journey for same-sex marriage equality. Same-sex marriage in New Jersey became legal in 2013 after a state Supreme Court ruling in the matter of Garden State Equality vs. Dow. This was followed in 2015 by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal across all 50 states.
Court rulings are not the same as laws passed by legislative bodies as the door is left open in court “case law” for other court actions to overturn past rulings. (Roe v. Wade is an example of this as courts can sway in their judicial findings.) As NorthJersey.com explained about the importance of this new law:
It’s been a long a road for LGBTQ couples in New Jersey as well. Same-sex marriage has been legal since a 2013 court ruling. But the bill, freshly approved by Murphy, secures marriage equality as state law.
The law protects marriage equality from “the whims of … the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Christian Fuscarino, executive director of New Jersey’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization Garden State Equality.
“If the U.S. Supreme Court was to do the unimaginable and overturn marriage equality, this would now have no bearing on this sacred right in our state of New Jersey,” he said.
The new same-sex marriage law removes this risk, firmly enshrining marriage equality as the law of the land in New Jersey.
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