Gay Marriage Laws in New Jersey
While the fight for gay marriage to be recognized by every state and the federal government is a long way from over, legal New Jersey gay marriages have a chance of being recognized. Currently, New Jersey marriages do not include any gay couples but the state does recognize same-sex unions.
Same-sex unions give gay couple some of the same state rights that heterosexual New Jersey marriages get. The problem is that there are over 1,000 rights regarding marriage that only the federal government recognizes. So between New Jersey gays having to settle for civil-unions and the federal government not giving them any of the rights that New Jersey marriages benefit from, a fight will continue to win the battle for legal same-sex New Jersey marriages.
A ban on New Jersey gay marriage is one of those old-school type of laws that may someday seem ridiculous much like segregation. As of now, New Jersey is caught in the middle. While it is not one of the 6 U.S states that recognizes gay marriage, it does offer most the benefits of New Jersey marriages. For many, religion gets in the way of passing a bill that would allow for New Jersey gay marriage. The excuse that “it just is not right” does not fly with supporters of New Jersey gay marriage, which extends beyond the gay community.
One of the main problems with New Jersey not accepting same-sex marriages is that employers do not recognize civil unions. Gay couples feel they deserve the same health benefits and other benefits that the spouses of different sex marriages enjoy.
Former Governor Corzine has fought for same-sex couples and has said he would support any bill that was ever passed on to his desk that legalized New Jersey gay marriage. Companies in New Jersey such as UPS claim their contract agreement does not support civil unions when it comes to employee spousal benefits so there is nothing that can be done.
Unfortunately up to this point, New Jersey gay marriage cases have not been so successful in court. In January of 2010 a bill was shot down by the New Jersey judicial committee that would have made New Jersey marriage laws fair and equal regardless of whether they were same-sex marriages or not. Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal were representing those fighting for equal right in the case and even though they did not win that day they vowed to return to court. It is a fight that will never end because both sides feel they are in the right.