USA, New Jersey: How the DOMA Case Brought Marriage Equality to the Garden State

Written by scott on September 28th, 2013

DOMA OverThe New Jersey marriage equality case provides important foreshadowing for other cases to come, in part because it relied heavily on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.

The National Journal reports:

Two court decisions lie at the heart of the case. The first is this summer’s Supreme Court ruling that found the Defense of Marriage Act–which prevented the federal government from extending benefits to same-sex marriages–unconstitutional. The second is Lewis v. Harris, a 2006 decision by New Jersey’s highest court that ruled civil unions must be afforded the same legal rights as other married couples. What both of the decisions have in common is that they ruled same-sex couples were entitled to certain rights and benefits afforded to opposite-sex married couples.

The case, it seems, all comes down to language. Basically, since the federal government extends rights to married same-sex couples the same way New Jersey’s state government extends rights to same-sex couples in civil unions, those unmarried individuals should have the right to marry. Otherwise, New Jersey’s civil union law is blocking citizens from receiving federal benefits.

It seems to me that the same logic applies to every state in the country that has a ban on marriage equality

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Jersey.


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