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Same-Sex Marriage Begins In NJ, Are Civil Unions A Thing Of The Past?

Same-Sex Marriage Begins In NJ, Are Civil Unions A Thing Of The Past?

Yesterday, October 21, 2013, gay and lesbian couples in communities throughout New Jersey received hope that Civil Unions may be a thing of the past and as marriage ceremonies and celebrations began at sunrise. These couples believe it is likely that, going forward, same-sex civil unions will no longer be the lesser option available to members of the LGBT community who wish to express their love for their partners with the same rights and protections afforded heterosexual couples. Many same-sex couples throughout the state rushed to be among the first to effectuate their marriages after a New Jersey Superior Court Judge’s ruling effectively allowed New Jersey to join the 13 other states that recognize gay and lesbian marriages. Going into the weekend, many of these couples did not even know if their ceremonies would take place as the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously rejected Governor Christie’s request to push back the date for the implementation of the same-sex weddings. The governor requested that the New Jersey Supreme Court overturn the trial court’s ruling, effectively delaying same-sex weddings, until an appeal could be heard on the issue. Although the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal in January 2014, it rejected the request to overturn the lower court’s ruling. On Monday, October 21, 2013, Governor Christie announced that he is dropping his appeal to overturn the lower court’s decision. The governor stated that he decided to drop the appeal because the Justices of the New Jersey Supreme Court have made it clear they would rule in favor of gay marriage in January if they were to hear the case. Therefore, as of yesterday New Jersey became the 14th state in the United States of America to recognize same-sex marriage. Is this really the end of the battle? Time will tell. In the meantime, LGBT couples will still have the option to engage in civil unions as a means to legally validate their love. Couples are not required to engage in a marriage ceremony under the recent developments within the state. Civil Unions will continue to offer same-sex couples an option to legally join their lives. Whether they will have to be ratified later in order to receive the full protections enjoyed by married couples is unknown. If you have questions regarding the protections afforded by civil unions in New Jersey it is important for you to consult with an attorney with experience in this area of the law. For more information about same-sex civil union, same-sex relationship dissolution, or other family law matters in New Jersey visit NJCivilUnionLaw.com and HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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