A New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry, because not doing so would violate the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The New York Times reports, “It is the first time a court has struck down a state’s refusal to legalize same-sex marriage as a direct result of the Supreme Court ruling, and with lawsuits pending in other states, it could presage other successful challenges across the country.”
Before getting too excited, however, note that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will likely seek a stay of the order and send the case to the state Supreme Court. Let’s hope that court likewise rules for equality.
All but one of the plaintiff couples in the case, Garden State Equality, et al. v. Dow, et al., are parents, including five pairs of moms and one pair of dads. All but one of the couples’ children are also named as plaintiffs. (For background on this case, see my earlier article at Keen News Service.)
Over in Pennsylvania, moms Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Pennsylvania not recognizing the marriage they entered into in Massachusetts.
Finally, just this morning, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia filed a motion for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, asking the court to rule on marriage equality in that state. The two plaintiff couples are both moms.
Also in the news today is a second Virginia case, this one in the Eastern District, which is now co-headed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (the folks who led the fall of Prop 8). One of the two plaintiff couples here is again a pair of moms.
As I wrote earlier, lesbian moms are helping push marriage equality forward in many states. They’re not the only ones, but it’s good to know they’re in the game.