According to the New York Times on October 26, 2006, New Jersey's highest court ruled that gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and financial benefits as heterosexual couples. The court ordered the Legislature to decide whether their unions must be called marriage or could be known by another name, giving the Democratic-controlled Legislature 180 days to either expand existing laws or come up with new ones to provide gay couples benefits including tuition assistance, survivors’ benefits under workers’ compensation laws, and spousal privilege in criminal trials.
All seven justices agreed that the state’s Constitution demands full legal rights for same-sex partners. The article throughly discusses the ruling, comparing it with a similar, but broader ruling in Massachusetts. You can read the entire article here.
The New Jersey supreme court's opinion may be read here. Lewis v. Harris (10/25/2006) (PDF file, 90 pages)
Related content from the New York Times:
The rights of same-sex couples have long been of special interest to Jeanne Hannah. To contact Jeanne Hannah with your questions or to view her Family Law website, click here.