New Jersey asks judge to stay order allowing same-sex marriages

Oct. 2, 2013 at 4:32 PM

TRENTON, N.J., Oct. 2 (UPI) -- The administration of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says it has asked a judge to stay her ruling that would allow gay couples to get married later this month.

In a motion filed in Superior Court Tuesday, the state says the controversy over same-sex marriage should be decided by a higher court, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.

Attorneys representing acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman argued Judge Mary C. Jacobson would cause irreparable harm if she "single-handedly, without guiding precedent and without input from the Supreme Court" overturned the state's civil union law.

Jacobson overturned the civil union law Friday, saying it denied same-sex couples federal benefits and violated their civil rights. She ruled marriage licenses for same-sex couples could be issued beginning Oct. 21.

The issue of same-sex marriage should be considered by a higher court, the attorneys said, because keeping the "millenia-old definition of marriage is of such social import."

The state also argued a stay should be granted because of a "reasonable probability" the state would win on appeal.

Christie has vetoed legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage. He says the issue should be decided by voters.

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