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A New Jersey judge has ruled that the state must allow same-sex marriage.
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson said that gays must be allowed to marry - otherwise they would be denied federal benefits, The Star-Ledger is reporting.
In Jacobson's opinion, "Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey constitution."
Governor Chris Christie has promised to appeal the ruling. "Governor Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day," said Michael Drewniak, Christie's spokesperson.
He continued, "Since the Legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination."
According to The Associated Press, New Jersey allows for civil unions, but unions exclude same-sex couples from enjoying some federal benefits, which resulted in the lawsuit.
Jacobson wrote, "Every day that the state does not allow same-sex couples to marry, plaintiffs are being harmed."
One of the case's plaintiffs, Marcye Nicholson-McFadden, said, "I want to shout from the rooftops, but I just have to keep myself in check. At the moment we're just waiting to see what the state will do."