CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Darin Miller, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866) 372-6397
WASHINGTON,D.C.- Family Research Council criticized today's decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court not to grant a stay pending appeal of a lower court's order that civil marriages of same-sex couples begin on October 21.
FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg made the following remarks:
"How will it create 'irreparable harm' to maintainNew Jersey's definition of civil marriage, one which has prevailed for the entire history of the state, for just a few months longer? Final adjudication of the issues at stake will be forthcoming in a manner of weeks.
"The Legislature complied fully with the New Jersey Supreme Court's order in 2006 to grant rights and benefits equivalent to marriage under state law by adopting civil unions. For that same Court to now suggest its own remedy was inadequate is irrational.
"The alleged harm to same-sex couples from waiting for a final determination of the constitutionality ofNew Jersey's marriage laws is virtually non-existent, given that they already have access to 100 percent of the rights and benefits of marriage under state law through civil unions. Surely creating the possibility that same-sex 'marriage' would be extended and then once again withdrawn constitutes a greater possible harm.
"The court claims that its position is based on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor. Yet the treatment of same-sex couples by the federal government is not in any way within the jurisdiction of theNew Jersey courts. To take a decision mandating respect for state choices on marriage, and interpret it as overturning that state choice instead, turns logic and the law on its head."