TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – On the heels of Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings, there is a renewed push for marriage equality in New Jersey.
The high court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, opening federal benefits to those states that allow gay marriage.
New Jersey has civil unions, but not same-sex marriage.
On the steps of the steps of the Statehouse, Garden State Equality’s Troy Stevenson said Thursday that the time is now for gay marriage in New Jersey.
“Civil unions are not and never will be equal to marriage and the highest court in the land has agreed with us,” Stevenson said to gathered supporters.
Lambda Legal plans to file a motion on July 3 for the courts in New Jersery to honor gay marriage based on the Supreme Court ruling, saying the state’s civil union law is not covered on the federal level.
“Federal law discusses marriage,” the organization’s deputy legal director, Hayley Gorenberg, said noting that it does not discuss civil unions.
Gorenberg represents seven same-sex couples who have sued the state for the right to marry.
Lawmakers say they’ll also try to override last year’s veto by Gov. Chris Christie’s of the state’s gay marriage bill.
“I think we need a few days to talk to people,” St. Sen. Loretta Weinberg told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney.
Lawmakers say any vote would likely come after the November election.
Christie, for his part, wants voters to decide the issue with a public question on the November ballot.
That’s what John Tomicki of the Coalition to Protect and Preserve Marriage wants.
“Gives more respect to the process. You don’t want turmoil,” he said.
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