Following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, not much has changed for couples in states where same-sex marriage is not yet legal. In New Jersey, legislation to do so looks dead in the water under threat of a Chris Christie veto, so gay rights advocates are hoping that they can mount a legal challenge to accomplish the same thing.
Lambda Legal is planning to file a motion, in a case currently before the New Jersey Superior Court, that argues that current New Jersey law is at odds with the state Supreme Court's 2006 holding that gay couples are required to get the same benefits as straight couples.
From The Washington Post:
In response to the 2006 ruling, the legislature passed a bill establishing civil unions in the state. Since civil unions were adopted in the state, marriage advocates have argued that they are not equal to marriage. The DOMA ruling bolsters that claim. While couples in civil unions may get some federal benefits after the ruling — it’s a legal gray area — they will not get the automatic benefits enjoyed by spouses in states where gay marriage is legal.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of receiving federal benefits, is unconstitutional. Christie called it a "bad decision," and said he would still veto any legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
His Democratic opponent Barbara Buono quickly made it a campaign issue, and is pushing the state legislature to override the veto. “Those that need a way to rationalize their vote to override, they’ve got it," she told the Post, referring to the Supreme Court's decision. So far, though, supporters say they still don't have the votes to override it.