Saturday, January 09, 2010

Defeated by Voters, N.J. Homosexualists Look to Courts

Gay-rights activists intend to take the fight to allow gay couples to marry in New Jersey directly to the state Supreme Court, advocates said yesterday, one day after the state Senate defeated a bill to allow same-sex marriage.

UPDATE 7/26/10: No same-sex marriage, for now, as N.J. Supremes decline to hear case

-- From "N.J. gay-marriage issue headed for court" by Adrienne Lu, Philadelphia Inquirer Trenton Bureau 1/9/10

The setback for gay-marriage advocates in New Jersey followed last month's in Albany, where the New York Senate defeated a measure to allow gay couples to wed. Nationally, activists will soon turn their attention to California, where a federal court will hear a challenge to the state's gay-marriage ban.

"Our goal is to file something when it's ready and well-prepared, and we think that will be in a matter of weeks," said Leslie Gabel-Brett, director of education and public affairs for Lambda Legal. She declined to discuss specifics about legal strategy, saying it was premature.

The state Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the state must provide same-sex couples with the same rights and privileges as married heterosexual couples, but left it to the Legislature to decide what to call the couples' relationships. The Legislature chose to call them civil unions rather than marriages.

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