Weak Case

New Jersey Tells Court Its Ban On Marriage Equality Is Really The Feds’ Fault

Did you realize that the ban on marriage equality in New Jersey is really the federal government’s fault for not recognizing civil unions? That’s the direct-from-an-alternate-reality argument that the state made Thursday in a case challenging the state’s refusal to allow same-sex marriages.

In a hearing before state Judge Mary Jacobson, state assistant attorney general Kevin Jespersen argued that the state already recognizes civil unions. If that’s not good enough for the federal government, then marriage equality proponents should push the feds to change its laws. New Jersey really has nothing to do with it.

Larry Lustberg, the attorney arguing for Garden State Equality, one of the groups involved in the legal challenge, had a simple response for Jespersen: “It is the state, not the federal government that is the source of the problem here.”

Jacobson didn’t seem sold on Jespersen’s argument either. “It seems like you’re asking the federal government to do something very complicated — ‘look at all the states to see what kinds of definitions of marriage there are,’” she said. However, Jacobson also questioned Lustberg on whether the issue of marriage equality should be settle in court.

“Many judges and justices on a state and federal level say on such far-reaching matters, such as same-sex marriage, it ought to be decided by the political process rather than by the courts,” Jacobson told Lustberg.

Jacobson will not issue until next month at the earliest. Should she rule before Election Day, her decision could present an interesting problem for Gov. Chris Christie, who has been using his opposition to marriage equality to fuel his presidential ambitions. A majority of New Jersey residents support marriage equality — in fact, the highest number for any state that does not recognize same-sex marriage. The state legislature has approved a marriage equality measure, which Christie vetoed. If the case goes against him, how long can Christie expect to hold out against the political current in his own state?

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  • Dakotahgeo

    Heh, heh, heh… I’m sorry but I’m beginning to enjoy watching Gov. Chucky Cheese’s twisting like a worm with an elephant caught in its gullet. I think most governors in most states realize that the jig is up regarding marriage equality in all states. One or two lawsuits per state and it’s all over but the crying and the marriage licenses begin rolling. What a GAL-orious day THAT will be!

  • Jared MacBride

    It’s such a bad legal argument you almost wonder if they made it hoping they would lose.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Mealy-mouthed-Mark Zuckershit supports a man who will NEVER be president. How could he support such a bigot? Even his palms look unhealthy. I’m no palm reader but, if you tilt your head to the left, it’s possible to see a fat ass in his palm. Ass-Palm. Does that indicate a short life or just a palm-ass? Who wants to shake hands with a candidate that has an ass on his palm, you know, other than Zuckernit? They both deserve each other.

  • Atomicrob

    Crusty Christie has a pair. The reason marriage equality doesn’t exist in the Garden State is because Christie vetoed the bill extending those rights in February 2012.

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