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Today Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit seeking marriage equality on behalf of Garden StateEquality — New Jersey’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization — and seven same-sex couples harmed from the unequal civil union system.
After years of work on the ground, and in the face of political opposition from New Jersey GovernorChris Christie — who has threatened to veto marriage equality legislation similar to the bill that just passed in New York — Lambda Legal decided that the courts must fix the messcivil unions have caused and give full marriage equality to New Jersey’s same-sex couples and their children. We are pleased that Garden State Equality is part of the lawsuit.
Lambda Legal will argue in Garden State Equality et al. v. Dow et al. that the discrimination and burden faced by New Jersey same-sex couples violates not only the New Jersey State Constitution but the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
For ten years, Lambda Legal has been fighting in the courts and in the court of public opinion, pushing for marriage equality in the Garden State and laying the groundwork for this new case.
In 2006, Lambda Legal secured a unanimous decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court — in our original case Lewis v. Harris — requiring the state to provide same-sex couples the same rights and benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. The Court required the state legislatureto remedy this injustice — the legislature responded with the civil union law which we know has failed to provide true equality to New Jersey’s same-sex couples.
Politicians who continue to fight for the status quo even as it injures honest and hardworking families will ultimately find themselves on the wrong side of history — and now they’ll find themselves in court.
Terrence, you know this is not just about marriage equality in one state. In many facets of their lives, LGBT people and those with HIV are still relegated to second-class status all over this country. From schools to workplaces, LGBT people are told we cannot speak out, we cannot move ahead, we cannot choose the person we love and we must accept discrimination.
We are here to say: they’re wrong. We’ll prove it, and we can stop those who promote injustice.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and support as we begin this new chapter in our shared fight for equality.
With warm regards,
Kevin M. Cathcart
P.S. Reminder: Tonight, June 29th, Lambda Legal will be hosting a special teleconference with Deputy Legal Director Hayley Gorenberg and Director of Constitutional Litigation Susan Sommer. Susan and Hayley will discuss our current docket and take questions about our New Jersey Marriage Case as well as the recent marriage equality bill in New York. The call begins at 7:00pm ET. As a current member you are invited to attend.Dial: 1-888-609-1606 and enter Participant Code: 61430520# at the prompt. You can send questions before or during the call to: firstname.lastname@example.org.