New Jersey Abandons Appeal of Marriage Case

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October 21, 2013
Lambda Legal plaintiff families with Deputy Legal Director Hayley Gorenberg

The State of New Jersey announced this morning that it is abandoning the state’s appeal of the decision issued by the New Jersey Superior Court that same-sex couples in New Jersey must be allowed to marry.  Marriages began at 12:01 a.m. this morning.

Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director for Lambda Legal, said:

It’s done – New Jersey is the 14th state with the freedom to marry, and same-sex couples and their families can celebrate without fear that their rights and dignity will be taken away. The New Jersey Supreme Court made clear on Friday that same-sex couples were being denied equality, and the State has now - finally – chosen to stop standing in the way of love and fairness. What a joyous day!

In June 2011, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry, arguing that barring same-sex couples from marriage and relegating them to civil union violates both the New Jersey Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal Constitution. This June, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, and Lambda Legal filed a motion for summary judgment in the New Jersey case, arguing that by barring marriage, the state of New Jersey now denies same-sex couples the full range of federal benefits, rights, and protections available after the Windsor decision. On September 27, 2013, the New Jersey Superior Court ruled that same-sex couples in New Jersey must be allowed to marry and set an effective date of October 21.

Click here to download our FAQ, New Jersey Marriage Law.

Meet all the plaintiffs and their families.

Learn more about the case, Garden State Equality v. Dow.