TRENTON, N.J. (BP)–The New Jersey Supreme Court — one of the more liberal state high courts in the land — will hear a case Feb. 15 that could result in the legalization of “gay marriage” in the Garden State, the court announced Jan. 6.
The case could provide homosexual activists another major victory in the Northeast. In May 2004, Massachusetts became the first American state to legalize “gay marriage,” following a landmark ruling by that state’s high court.
Another state, Washington, is awaiting a “gay marriage” ruling from its state high court. The Washington state Supreme Court heard oral argument in March 2004, and leaders on both sides of the issue say they expect a ruling any week now.
If homosexual activists are successful, then three American states will have legalized “gay marriage” by the end of 2006.
The homosexual group Lambda Legal filed the New Jersey lawsuit.
“For a case seeking to end the government’s ban on marriage, it is fitting that we will be standing before the state’s highest court during the week of Lincoln’s Birthday, which reminds us of how important the principle of equality is to our nation and Valentine’s Day, which is about love,” Lambda Legal’s David Buckel said in a statement.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has sided with homosexual activists before. In 1999 it ruled that the Boy Scouts could not prevent homosexuals from becoming troop leaders — a decision that eventually was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lambda Legal already has lost twice in New Jersey — at the trial court level and appeals court level. The appeals court loss came on a 2-1 decision last June.
“Plaintiffs’ claim of a constitutional right to state recognition of marriage between members of the same sex has no foundation in the text of the [New Jersey] Constitution, this Nation’s history and traditions or contemporary standards of liberty and justice,” appeals court Judge Stephen Skillman wrote for the majority.
Skillman further wrote: “The personal views of the members of the court concerning ‘the wisdom or policy of a statute’ should play no part in determining its constitutionality. A constitution is not simply an empty receptacle into which judges may pour their own conceptions of evolving social mores.”
The case is Lewis v. Harris.
Conservatives in New Jersey are pushing for a constitutional marriage amendment but face a tough battle in the left-leaning legislature.
For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage