Lambda Legal sued New Jersey on June 29 to force legalization of same-sex marriage. The plaintiffs are seven same-sex couples and the lobby group Garden State Equality.
The case makes both state and federal claims, arguing that New Jersey's civil-union law violates the state constitution and the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.
"The constitutional guarantee of equality under the law does not stop midway through the Lincoln Tunnel," said Hayley Gorenberg, Lambda's deputy legal director. "Our clients have been kept from each other during medical crises, denied health insurance, and even discriminated against in funeral homes because their civil unions relegate them to second-class status."
GSE Chair Steven Goldstein said "everybody in New Jersey knows that civil unions don't work."
"Since civil unions became law in New Jersey, Garden State Equality has received reports from multitudes of civil-union couples who have told us their employers refuse to provide the equal rights and benefits the civil-union law mandates," he said. "It's time for the courts to fix this mess and give full marriage equality to New Jersey's same-sex couples and their children."