Seeking to push the state to recognize full marriage equality, State Sen. Raymond Lesniak asked the state Attorney General to re-evaluate the state’s civil unions law. NJ Today reports:
Lesniak (D-Union), a proponent of marriage equality and sponsor of legislation vetoed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie that would recognize same-sex marriage, called upon Hoffman to concur with the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in Garden State Equality v. Dow. “As a matter of law, civil unions do not qualify for federal benefits as same sex married couples do,” Lesniak wrote in a letter to Hoffman. Following last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key component of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Lesniak predicted that New Jersey courts would soon allow gay marriage within the state.
The Supreme Court ruling cast things in clear relief – civil unions are no longer the equivalent of marriage, if they ever were – they are now blatantly unequal in that they do not come with the federal benefits that marriage provides.