NJ Same-Sex Marriage After Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA
- July 11, 2013
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The Supreme Court of The United States of America has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples who are married, in civil unions or other forms of union recognized under state law. The President ‘s administration stated it would quickly move to ensure same-sex married couples get the same federal tax and other benefits that heterosexual married couples receive. It is still up to the individual states to determine if they will recognize same-sex marriage. In New Jersey, the Supreme Court of New Jersey in its opinion in the 2006 case of Lewis v. Harris, 188 N.J. 415 (2006) held that it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the same rights and benefits that heterosexual couples are given and held that the State could either amend the marriage statutes to include same-sex couples or enact a parallel statutory structure by another name in which same-sex couples would enjoy the same rights and benefits and bear the burdens and obligations of civil marriage in the State of New Jersey. The State Legislature established civil unions which do not qualify as “marriage” under the Federal Laws. Governor Christie has made it clear he does not support same-sex marriage. He vetoed a marriage bill passed by the legislature and voiced his disfavor with the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down DOMA. He stated he wants the issue left up to the voters of New Jersey. Many in the State Legislature are trying to override Governor Christie’s veto. If you are in a same-sex relationship in New Jersey and are interested in protecting or providing for your partner you should consult with an experienced family attorney. For more information about same-sex relationships, palimony agreements, cohabitation agreements, child custody, visitation, dissolution, divorce, child support or any other type of family law matter in New Jersey please visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter.