A family advocate in New Jersey is blasting that state’s highest court for usurping the authority of voters and legislators by stepping in and deciding it’s time to legalize “gay marriage.”
NJ Gov. Christie won't appeal marriage ruling
LAMBERTVILLE, NJ (Associated Press) - Gov. Chris Christie has dropped his appeal to legalized same-sex marriages in New Jersey.
In an email, the governor's office says it submitted a formal withdrawal to the state Supreme Court Monday morning.
Last month, a lower-court judge ruled that New Jersey must recognize gay marriages starting Monday. Gay couples began exchanging vows shortly after midnight.
The Republican governor, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, had been asking the state's top court to overturn that ruling. But he announced Monday he was dropping the appeal.
Christie's administration says he strongly disagrees with the court substituting "its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people." But he says the Supreme Court was clearly going to favor same-sex marriage and that he has a constitutional duty to enforce the law.
As of today, homosexual men and women can pair off and legally marry in New Jersey. In late September, Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled New Jersey's civil union law discriminates against homosexuals. The state appealed to the NJ Supreme Court, but that panel refused to grant a stay pending outcome of the January court date.
Len Deo, who heads New Jersey Family First, tells OneNewsNow the ruling is very disappointing.
“This denying of the stay in the marriage case is very problematic,” he shares. “We believe that the court has in essence implemented same-sex marriage upon the state of New Jersey. The case that's going to be heard in January now appears to be almost irrelevant.”
Deo contends the issue of same-gender marriage should be decided by New Jersey residents and their elected representatives. But the court took over responsibility for the decision – and did so before the legal question is even argued.
“The New Jersey Supreme Court has dropped all pretense of impartiality. It's a breach of public confidence, and I'm not sure that they'll be able to repair that,” says the pro-family spokesman. “It's a sad day for the rule of law in New Jersey. We're no longer ruled by freely elected representatives but by a judicial oligarchy.”
Quinlan is disappointed Governor Chris Christie has chosen not to pursue his appeal to the high court (see sidebar).
“It would still make a statement to say that marriage is one man and one woman,” he shares. “And for this governor particularly, who has stayed steadfast with that definition and has defended the definition of marriage even when he was running for governor, it would still have been a good thing for him to have stayed firm regardless of what the outcome looked like it was going to be or may have been.”
Quinlan believes God will not honor what has happened in New Jersey – and argues that Christians don't give up when it comes to standing on moral principles.
“We must stand firm in following and being obedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ, to the Word of God,” he states. “So what choice do we have but to show our love to Jesus Christ and defend his definition of marriage, which is what makes a healthy society.”
New Jersey joins 13 others states and the District of Columbia in legalizing same-gender marriage.