What a day! Today two courts moved us closer to the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in New Jersey and Illinois.
- In the ACLU and Lambda Legal’s lawsuits seeking marriage in Illinois, a state trial court ruled that the case shouldn’t be dismissed and instead will proceed to trial.
- In Lambda’s marriage lawsuit pending in New Jersey, a state trial court ordered the state to allow same-sex couples to marry.
The New Jersey courts had previously ruled that the state has to provide equality to same-sex couples, and this new ruling recognizes that the state’s civil unions system doesn’t provide that equality because civil unions don’t get you the 1,138 federal protections that come with marriage – only marriage does that. Last June’s US Supreme Court ruling in the ACLU’s United States v. Windsor case, which struck down the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act, is thus a gift that keeps on giving – it may help bring us the freedom to marry in New Jersey.
But committed same-sex couples in Illinois and New Jersey shouldn’t have to wait for these two cases to work their way through the court system. Instead, the legislatures in both states should finish the job now and pass the freedom to marry laws.
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