New Jersey became the 14th jurisdiction to recognize same-sex marriage on October 23, 2013. Prior to then, same-sex residents of the state could only obtain civil unions. During this time, many claimed that New Jersey’s scheme was unequal to marriage. For example, some employers in New Jersey refused to recognize civil unions for the purpose of providing spousal benefits.
By recognizing and performing gay marriages, the state of New Jersey essentially offers the exact same rights and benefits of the law, which heterosexual married couples enjoy, to homosexual couples.
Please note that civil unions in New Jersey do not automatically convert to marriages. However, in order to marry a current civil union partner in the state of New Jersey, one does not have to dissolve an existing civil union.
Can Same-Sex Partners Still Enter into a Civil Union in New Jersey?
Same-sex partners can still enter into a civil union in New Jersey, and existing civil unions are recognized in the state. Couples with civil unions have the same protections under state law as married couples. However, they are not necessarily able to receive the same federal benefits or have their union recognized in other states or countries.
Do I Need a New Jersey Attorney?
Due to the evolving nature of this area of law, if you have any questions about same sex legal rights in New Jersey in connection with marriage, you should contact a New Jersey family lawyer.