Gay Couples Can Wed in New Jersey Later This MonthS

A New Jersey judge has rejected the state's appeal to halt a previous ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, meaning that gay couples will be able to wed as early as October 21.

On September 27, Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that the New Jersey's system of civil unions were insufficient since they hindered federal benefits, citing the U.S. Supreme Court's June decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. However, the state appealed, arguing that civil unions are good enough and that federal benefits are the federal government's problem, not New Jersey's.

But on Thursday, Jacobson ruled that denying access to federal marriage benefits violates New Jersey's constitution. The state plans to seek another stay of the ruling in an appellate court, according to a spokesperson for the Attorney General's office.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declined to comment on the ruling, but has previously said that he wanted the issue of marriage equality to be on the ballot this November.

Image via Ivonne Wierink/Shutterstock

New Jersey judge paves way for same-sex marriages [CNN]