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Looking Out: New Jersey judge hears arguments over marriage equality

A New Jersey judge heard arguments Thursday over whether the state should be required to legalize same-sex marriage in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's June decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.

Since December 2006, New Jersey has allowed same-sex couples to enter in civil unions. The Garden State's Legislature passed legislation that granted civil unions nearly all the rights of marriage without actually using the word "marriage." At the time, DOMA prevented same-sex couples from receiving federal marriage benefits.

But after the Supreme Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional, New Jersey's same-sex couples in civil unions aren't eligible for the federal marriage benefits that can be granted to couples in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Six couples and New Jersey LGBT group Garden State Equality are arguing that the discrepancy should force New Jersey to legalize same-sex marriage.

The state's argument Thursday was that the federal government should be the ones to recognize New Jersey civil unions as equivalent to marriage, the Associated Press reported.

Because when it comes to marriage, there's nothing like passing the buck, right? (Somewhere, a heterosexual male is nodding.)

Pointing fingers to other news:

So, what LGBT-related news are you looking at this week? (Or are you too busy being distracted by these Out Magazine photos of James Marsden?)

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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