Chris Christie withdraws appeal of same-sex marriage ruling

The New Jersey governor's decision lifts the last possible barrier to same-sex marriage in the state

By Elias Isquith

Published October 21, 2013 4:20PM (EDT)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie              (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

According to the New York Times, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided to withdraw his administration's legal challenge to a recent court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in New Jersey as of Oct. 21.

Citing the state Supreme Court's rejection of an earlier request for the court to grant a stay halting same-sex marriage in the state until the ruling on the appeal, the Christie administration indicated that its withdrawal was due to its expectation that New Jersey's Supreme Court would rule in favor of upholding same-sex marriage's legality.

"Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law," the Christie administration said in a statement. "The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court."

More from the New York Times:

In June, the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and declared that the federal government must provide the same benefits to gay married couples as it does to heterosexual married couples.

Using that ruling as the legal underpinning for a decision issued last month, Judge Mary C. Jacobson of State Superior Court in Mercer County found that the state’s not allowing same-sex couples to get married deprived them of getting federal benefits and “is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts.”

Mr. Christie immediately said he would appeal the decision and sought a stay to prevent the marriages from taking place starting on Oct. 21, as the court ordered.

The petition was denied, and the first couples across the state were married just after midnight on Monday.


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Chris Christie Gay Marriage Lgbtq Lgbtq Rights New Jersey Same-sex Marriage The New York Times