NJ couples go to court over same-sex marriage

NJ couples go to court over same-sex marriage

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NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

Gay couples have gone to court in New Jersey because they say the state is standing in the way of their getting benefits made available by the federal government.

A judge heard arguments on Thursday from lawyers for the couples and for the state on whether New Jersey must allow gay marriages.

Haley Groenberg, an attorney with Lambda Legal, is representing six civil union couples who presented arguments to a judge calling for New Jersey to legalize gay marriage

Louise Wolpan and Marsha Shapiro have been together for 24 years. They say they want to be treated the same as everyone else, especially so they can have the benefits of a married couple, including health benefits

In June the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, saying that Section 3 was unconstitutional because it allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states. But now that the federal government is giving benefits to married same-sex couples, it was this ruling that led couples like Keith Heimann and Tom Davidson, who have two children, to file a new motion this summer in New Jersey.

A lawyer for the state said that civil union couples can still receive some federal benefits even if New Jersey doesn't legalize gay marriage.

The judge said she will rule no earlier than September.

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