On the heels of the new NY law permitting same-sex marriages, the issue has been constantly in the news of late (and the subject of our prior posts on the new law and on Governor Christie’s reaction to it). In today’s Star Ledger , Matt Friedman reported on yet another issue, specifically, that same sex couples in NJ will be filing a lawsuit seeking to have civil unions recognized as a marriage.
As we have previously reported, New Jersey only allows Civil Unions, a remedy that many have noted does not provide the same rights as marriage. That said, last year, the New Jersey Supreme Court refused to hear a case attacking the inequalities of the New Jersey civil union statute. In addition, since the federal government does not recognize gay marriage, same-sex couples cannot file joint federal tax returns and there are other inequalities as it relates to ERISA covered benefits, etc.
Today’s story notes that the basis of the suit is that civil unions are a "badge of inferiority" for same-sex couples and that though civil unions are meant to grant same-sex couples the same rights as married couples, that that is not what is happening.
When the Supreme Court rejected hearing the case last year, they said that the issue would have to run its course through the trial courts, etc. This appears to be the start of that litigation. Stay tuned.