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July 5, 2013

This Wednesday, one week after the Supreme Court's historic decision to strike down Section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Lambda Legal filed a motion for summary judgment in New Jersey Superior Court on behalf of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization, and six same-sex couples who need the freedom to marry.

From Reuters:

Hayley Gorenberg, a lawyer for Lambda Legal which represents several same-sex couples in a lawsuit against New Jersey, said the U.S. high court's decision last week in Windsor v. U.S. made it "crystal clear" the state's law allowing civil unions for gay couples does not provide equal rights.

"By denying same-sex couples equal federal rights ... the New Jersey statutory scheme shows itself to be unjustifiable discrimination," a motion for summary judgment filed Wednesday in Mercer County Superior Court said.

The state will have a month to reply to the motion and arguments would be scheduled for mid-August. A spokesman for the attorney general declined to comment on pending litigation.

Read the full article here.

From the Star-Ledger:

Civil-union states such as New Jersey won’t reap those benefits unless they change their laws to allow same-sex marriage, the group argued. On the day of the Windsor ruling, Jacobson agreed to fast-track the case and scheduled arguments for Aug. 15.

"By relegating same-sex couples in New Jersey to civil union, the state denies them equal rights and benefits," attorneys Lawrence Lustberg of the Gibbons law firm and Hayley Gorenberg of the gay rights group Lambda Legal wrote in their brief today, adding later that after the Windsor ruling, "these labels are inarguably, and as a matter of law, far more than mere words."

Throughout their 53-page brief, Lustberg and Gorenberg relied heavily on the Windsor opinion by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, borrowing his logic and word choices to argue gay couples and their children are being denied legal and economic protections and are burdened by "the indignity and stigma of second-class status" of civil unions.

Read the full article here.

Meet all the plaintiffs and their families

Learn more about Garden State Equality et al. v. Dow et al