“This unequal treatment requires that New Jersey extend civil marriage to same-sex couples to satisfy equal protection guarantees of the New Jersey Constitution as interpreted by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Lewis,” wrote Jacobson. “Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution.”
According to Associated Press, the judge accepted the position of lawyers from gay rights groups that the state is now blocking citizens from receiving federal benefits.
Gov. Christie is opposed to gay marriage and his administration is expected to appeal.
Politico reports that Christie’s press secretary released a statement just after the ruling that reads, “Governor Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day. Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination.”