In what looks like a Vermont-style ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court has unanimously ordered the state to grant all of the privileges and rights of marriage -- but not necessarily the word "marriage" -- to same-sex couples. The opinion is here.
The legislature has 180 days to act. The court leaves open the possibility that gay-marriage litigants can come back to the state courts at a future date and request full marriage.
Three justices concurred, saying that the state should have been required to grant full marriage under state law. Litigants thus fell one vote short of a majority for same-sex marriage.
I'll have more to say about the decision when I've had a chance to look at it in detail.
Related Posts (on one page):
- The Third Way in New Jersey:
- The New Jersey marriage decision and the unstable middle ground:
- Gay Rights Laws, Slippery Slopes, and a Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Civil Unions:
- Third Way Result in New Jersey Marriage Case: