Thursday, January 7, 2010

NJ gay marriage fight headed back to court

NJ gay marriage fight headed back to court

Associated Press - January 7, 2010 5:04 PM ET

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Gay rights advocates say they'll take their case back to court after the New Jersey Senate on Thursday vote down a proposal to legalize gay marriage.

In 2006, the state Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to give committed same-sex couples all the rights and benefits of marriage. But by a 4-3 vote, the court said the state didn't have to call it marriage.

Lawmakers responded by creating a civil unions law.

Garden State Equality, the state's main gay rights group, says the civil unions amount to second-class status that falls short of true equality.

Some gay couples say they've been denied health benefits and hospital visitation rights.

Garden State Equality says a new lawsuit would claim the Legislature has not met the court's mandate.