CORRECTED TITLE: Sorry for the rushed title earlier. I shouldn't have said "marriage," but "unions." I'll read the case and have more later. It's been a busy day...
MORE: Here's the PDF of opinion. Here's the NYT article:
“There has been a developing understanding that discrimination against gays and lesbians is no longer acceptable in this state,” [the judges] wrote.I'm not hot to stir up this issue. I personally support gay marriage, and I hope Wisconsin voters vote "no" on the amendment that's on the ballot here. But I have to say that I don't think the New Jersey court's carefulness about the limited step it's taking "at this point" will undercut the amendment proponents and others who want to get voters excited about judges who get out in front of what the majority wants.
But the justices wrote that their mission in this case was a narrow one.
“At this point, the Court does not consider whether committed same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, but only whether those couples are entitled to the same rights and benefits afforded to married heterosexual couples,” the court wrote.
“Cast in that light, the issue is not about the transformation of the traditional definition of marriage, but about the unequal dispensation of benefits and privileges to one of two similarly situated classes of people.”...
But the court ... said that denying same sex couples “the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose.”