[New Jersey's] highest court on Friday agreed to hear a case on whether same-sex marriage should be legal in the state, and whether same-sex weddings can be performed while it decides.
A lower-court judge ruled last month that the state must legalize same-sex marriage starting Oct. 21, but Gov. Chris Christie’s administration said in a court filing Friday that a single judge should not be able to force New Jersey to do so.
The argument was included in a brief the state submitted in support of its emergency appeal after a state judge refused to delay her order that New Jersey legalize same-sex marriage as of Oct. 21.
“To overhaul such an ancient social institution prematurely, precipitously, or in a manner ultimately deemed unnecessary would injure not only the public interest, but the State that represents this interest,” the state attorney general’s office said in its brief.
The state Supreme Court accepted the case Friday, skipping the normal course of letting an appeals court hear it first. Oral arguments were scheduled for January. …
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit have until Tuesday to file legal papers in response. A ruling is expected before the Oct. 21 date when same-sex marriage licenses would take effect.