The New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to hear a case from six same-sex couples seeking the right to marry, saying the case needs to wind its way through the lower courts first.
Gay couples unsuccessfully sued New Jersey four years ago for the right to marry. They claim that by creating civil unions, the state has not fulfilled a court order to treat them the same as heterosexual couples seeking to marry.
The Supreme Court said Monday that it cannot consider whether the civil union law provides equal rights to gay couples until there is a trial record.
The justices were split 3-3, one vote shy of the four needed for the motion to be granted.