The judge said New Jersey must allow gay marriage because the federal government isn't extending full and equal benefits to same-sex couples under the state's civil union law.
New Jersey’s system of civil unions for same-sex couples is unconstitutional, a state judge ruled on Friday.
The judge said the state must allow same-sex couples in civil unions to enter into marriages just like opposite-sex couples because the federal government is not extending full and equal benefits to gay couples under New Jersey’s civil union law.
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that in order to rectify the unequal treatment, New Jersey was required to jettison the system of same-sex civil unions enacted in 2006 by the state Legislature in favor of judicially-mandated same-sex marriages.
Judge Jacobson ordered state officials to start allowing same-sex marriages in New Jersey on Oct. 21.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to appeal the decision.
The Republican chief executive, who is waging a reelection campaign and is considered a possible presidential contender, has opposed same-sex marriages in the state and says the issue should be determined by a statewide vote.
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