New Jersey Governor Resists Gay Marriage
New Jersey governor James E. McGreevey has called on the state courts to turn down attempts to legalize gay marriage.
On June 26, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court on behalf of seven same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses.
Lambda argues that excluding same-sex couples from benefits given to legally married people, including joint health insurance, spousal inheritance rights and Social Security ( news- web sites) benefits, violates the equal protection clause of the state Constitution.
Lambda Legal said it expects the case to wind up before the state Supreme Court.
Responding to media questions Friday, McGreevey, a Democrat, said any court decision granting legal recognition to same-sex marriages would not be a good thing for New Jersey.
"New Jersey state statute has significant meaning not only rooted in common law but in application. Any attempt to change this would have a detrimental impact not only upon the statute but clearly to historic precedents in the state of New Jersey,? the governor said.
Lambda Legal said it doubted the governor's remarks would influence the courts.
"The New Jersey courts have a strong record of being fair-minded and independent," said David Buckel, Lambda Legal's lead attorney in the suit.