Before same-sex marriage was declared legal in , the concept of a civil union was popular. For politicians, it seemed like an interchangeable idea that required no legal action—but if a civil union was the same as marriage, why would the LGBT community have fought so hard for equality? When people marry, they tend to do so for reasons of love and commitment. But marriage is also a legal status, which comes with rights and responsibilities. Marriage establishes a legal kinship between you and your spouse.
State of New Jersey Marriage License, NJ
History of the Gay Rights Movement
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U. In September , Mary C. Supreme Court's June decision in United States v. Windsor , New Jersey's Constitution requires the state to recognize same-sex marriages. Therefore, the state court reasoned in Garden State Equality v. Dow , because same-sex couples in New Jersey were limited to civil unions , which are not recognized as marriages under federal law, the state must permit civil marriage for same-sex couples.
The American Gay Rights Movement
Supreme Court ruling striking down key parts of a law barring federal recognition of same-sex marriage means in states. The civil union law was intended to give same-sex couples the legal benefits of marriage. The hearing brings the spotlight on gay marriage back to New Jersey, where the legal battle over the issue has been waged since — before any state recognized same-sex marriage.
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