New Jersey is the 14th state to recognize same-sex marriages. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied the state’s request to temporarily prevent such marriages. Although Governor Chris Christie’s administration appealed the decision, he later withdrew the legal challenge to a court ruling abolishing the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. New Jersey has recognized civil unions between same-sex couples since 2007, after the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the state must allow same-sex couples all the rights and benefits of marriage. As far as state rights and benefits went, civil unions and marriages differed only in label. Now, New Jersey has joined 13 other states – California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — as well as the District of Columbia – to allow same-sex couples to marry. In addition, Illinois also recently passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage that is awaiting the governor’s signature.
Under New Jersey law, Civil Unions will not automatically convert to marriages. Civil unions remain valid, and couples may continue to enter into civil unions if they so choose. A civil union couple will have to apply for and receive a marriage license, and thereafter engage in a marriage ceremony, in order to receive a marriage certificate.
Contact Experienced New Jersey Gay and Lesbian Family Law Firm of Lyons & Associates
To obtain additional information about gay and lesbian family law rights in New Jersey, or to discuss the particulars of your situation, please schedule a confidential consultation with New Jersey family law attorneys Lyons & Associates by calling 908-575-9777, or fill out our intake form.