Same-sex marriage advocates go back to court in NJ

Advocates for same sex marriage are taking their case back to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Lambda Legal filed a motion Thursday seeking a court ruling to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

"We are here today to ask the New Jersey Supreme Court to make equality real," said Hayley Gorenberg, Lambda Legal's deputy legal director. The group filed a motion on behalf of six same-sex couples who first brought a lawsuit in 2002 seeking the right to marry.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that same sex couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples. The decision, however, left it to the Legislature to decide how to provide equal rights. Lawmakers chose civil unions, but gay and lesbian advocates argue that civil unions provide unequal benefits, are misunderstood, especially out of the state, and amount to a separate and unequal right.

With the Legislature recently voting down same sex marriage, advocates for gays and lesbians said the court must step in.

Social conservatives, however, said the issue should be decided by voters, not judges.

"We will stand up for the definition of marriage that has existed for thousands of years," said John Tomicki, president of the New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage.

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