The New Jersey State Senate voted 20 to 14 against a bill that would have legalized same sex marriage in the state yesterday. The state Judiciary Committee voted 7 to 6 in favor of the bill this past December.
Marriage equality activists vowed to continue the fight in New Jersey immediately after yesterday's vote. Director of LAMDA Legal, Leslie Gabel-Brett, told WNYC that "the promise of the unanimous decision in Lewis V. Harris remains unfulfilled. Same sex couples and their families can not wait any longer. We are going back to court." Lewis v. Harris is a 2006 New Jersey State Supreme Court ruling on the rights of same sex couple to equal protection.
The New Jersey State Civil Union Review Commission found in 2008 that the state's civil union law does not provide the same protections to gay couples as marriage does to heterosexual couples. The commission found that "the separate categorization established by the Civil Union Act invites and encourages unequal treatment of same-sex couples and their children."
Washington, DC, approved same sex marriage legislation in December 2009 and is waiting for a mandatory 30 day congressional review period to expire before the legislation becomes law. Currently, same sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 12/12/08, 12/15/09; WNYC 1/8/09