Ben Johnson

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Chris Christie drops appeal, as same-sex ‘marriage’ comes to New Jersey through judicial activism

Ben Johnson
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TRENTON, NJ, October 21, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Sensing a coming defeat before the state Supreme Court, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced this morning that he had dropped his appeal of a lower court ruling forcing the state to legalize same-sex “marriage” – making New Jersey the 14th state where such weddings are enshrined in the law.

Gay “marriage” came to New Jersey the same way same-sex “civil unions” did: by judicial decree.

In 2006, the state Supreme Court declared the state must offer legal affirmation and state benefits to homosexual couples but did not necessarily have to call that relationship a “marriage.” The state then instituted civil unions.

But last month Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that New Jersey must establish same-sex "marriages" beginning Monday, because thwarting homosexual couples' desire to collect federal welfare benefits “is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey.”

Christie, who said the voters should decide the issue in a state referendum, appealed to the state Supreme Court and asked for a stay of Jacobson's ruling until after the case was decided.

The justices unanimously said, although oral arguments would not begin until next January, the state must issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner noted the justices' agreement with Jacobson that the “harm” of denying homosexuals the right to call themselves married “is real, not abstract or speculative.”

Although the high court had issued no legal ruling, Governor Christie said the unanimous decision not to grant a stay means that “the Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law.”

“The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court,” a statement from Christie's office read.

New Jersey is one of 14 states to redefine marriage. In four states – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and California – same-sex “marriage” was established by judicial decree of the state or U.S. Supreme Court.

Never has gay “marriage” been instituted in a state by so low an authority as a superior court judge.

Chris Christie's decision to back out of the legal argument has earned him harsh criticism from social conservatives, who called it “a disqualifying failure.” (See related story.)

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The combination of judicial activism and executive inaction gave the homosexual lobby something it could not win in any other way. Christie vetoed a bill to create same-sex “marriage” last February. State legislators had threatened to override Christie's veto but still lack the votes.

It is unclear marriage redefinition could have passed a state referendum. Although recent polls showed 60 percent of state voters saying they supported such a law in theory, Campaign Marketing Strategies found that their support declined by 12 percent when they learned that civil unions already furnish all the state rights and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.

New Jersey Family Policy Council Founder and President Len Deo said the court's decision and Christie's withdrawal has set up “a constitutional crisis.”

“The court has allowed a single judge to decide for the entire state what marriage is, treading on both the governor and the legislature,” he said. “It has included no provision for religious exemptions, meaning we will soon see people threatened with intolerable choices between their consciences and their authorization to minister to the needy or conduct business with the public, as has happened elsewhere in this nation from Vermont to New Mexico.”

The civil unions regime has already trampled upon the religious rights of conservative Christians. Last year, Judge Solomon A. Metzger ruled that a Christian seaside resort had to allow a same-sex union ceremony to take place on its premises despite its religious convictions, because the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.” Deo warns legalizing homosexual “marriage” will lead to even more repression of religious rights.

The state's social liberals celebrated the ruling in word and deed. U.S. Senator-elect Cory Booker conducted seven gay “weddings” just after midnight in Newark. “This is beautiful,” he said. Booker, a bachelor who has winked at rumors that he is homosexual, previously refused to conduct any marriages until the state redefined the institution.

Although a protester objected the ceremonies were "unlawful in the eyes of God and Jesus Christ," Booker called the opportunity to officiate “one of the greatest privileges of my life.”

"It's a sad day for the voters of New Jersey," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. "An activist judiciary has once again imposed its views and ignored the rights of voters. We will continue to fight for the right of New Jersey voters to determine the definition of marriage.”

Contact:

Governor Chris Christie
(609) 292-6000.
New Jersey residents only: https://www.votervoice.net/NJFPC/campaigns/32919/respond

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