TRENTON, N.J.— A New Jersey judge has reaffirmed her call for the state to start issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Oct. 21, but the administration of Gov. Chris Christie is taking another crack at putting the mandate on hold.
Both developments came Thursday and are the latest in a flurry of legal activity over whether the state should allow gay couples to marry.
Last month, Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that the state must recognize same-sex nuptials starting Oct. 21, saying the state is blocking some of its residents from federal legal protection for their relationships. The administration of Christie, a Republican and possible 2016 presidential candidate, is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn Jacobson’s decision.
In the meantime, the state also asked Jacobson to delay the mandate until the main case is sorted out by higher courts.
On Thursday, Jacobson refused. A delay “would simply allow the state to continue to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest,” she said in her opinion.
Gay rights supporters lauded the ruling, which moves New Jersey a step closer to having same-sex marriages occur this month. The state immediately appealed the ruling.