Wow, huge news in New Jersey. NJ.com reports that Judge Mary Jacobson has legalized gay marriage in the state:
The gay rights groups Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal had argued that after the U.S. Supreme Court extended more than 1,000 tax and inheritance benefits to same-sex couples in June, New Jersey was left behind with second-class civil unions.
Jacobson, the head judge in Mercer County, agreed.
"The ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts," she wrote.
For example, the judge said, "civil union partners who are federal employees living in New Jersey are ineligible for marital rights with regard to the federal pension system, all civil union partners who are employees working for businesses to which the Family and Medical Leave Act applies may not rely on its statutory protections for spouses, and civil union couples may not access the federal tax benefits that married couples enjoy."
Jacobson was asked to square the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in June striking down the Defense of Marriage Act with New Jersey's own legal precedents.
Read the rest of NJ.com's piece here.