Christie drops appeal of gay marriage ruling

October 21, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) administration announced Monday morning that it will drop its challenge to a court decision legalizing gay marriage – a decision that assures that same-sex marriages that were set to be performed starting Monday will be valid going forward.

The case was set to be argued in January, but the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Friday that same-sex couples could wed starting Monday.

In its ruling, the court also suggested that the Christie administration’s case was unlikely to succeed – a fact that Christie’s office cited while dropping its case Monday.


“Chief Justice Rabner left no ambiguity about the unanimous court's view on the ultimate decision in this matter when he wrote, ‘same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today,’” the Christie administration said in a statement.

It continued: “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.”

Udi Ofer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, said this means the court case is "essentially done."

"This was an unexpected but amazing gift to the gay and lesbian couples who tied the knot at the stroke of midnight when they weren’t sure those marriages were going to be permanent," he said.

For more, see Reid Wilson’s report on GovBeat.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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