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Push for gay marriage in New Jersey gains traction

Some people believe that New Jersey laws regarding civil unions and domestic partnerships provide the same protections to separating couples as laws regarding marriage, but that simply isn't the case. People who want to end a domestic partnership or civil union in New Jersey are likely to need an attorney who understands how state and federal laws differ.

Advocates for same-sex marriage are hopeful these complicated legal issues will one day be a thing of the past. After the Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are finally coming around to the idea of giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry in New Jersey.

A number of legislators, including some Republicans who either didn't vote last time or opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage, have expressed their willingness to override Gov. Chris Christie's veto of legislation that would give marriage and divorce protections to same-sex couples.

The legislative session ends in January, and 12 more Assembly members are needed to support an override, while the Senate needs three more votes.

Polls show that a majority of New Jersey residents support gay marriage, and the DOMA decision does not offer equal marriage protections to gay and lesbian couples in civil unions. In other words, the push for marriage equality is still a driving force that, if successful, could bring same-sex marriage to New Jersey before the New Year.

Unmarried couples who want to learn more about dissolving a domestic partnership or civil union might find our page for domestic relationships helpful.

Source:, "N.J. legislators inching toward override of Christie's gay marriage veto," Ryan Hutchins, Sept. 23, 2013

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