In Contrast to Other States, Governor Christie States Clerks May Not Deny Marriage Licenses
The landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges, making gay marriage legal nationwide, has stirred controversy in many local county clerks’ offices. County officials in a variety of counties in states such as Texas and Alabama have publicly stated their intention not to issue marriage licenses. Many clerk’s offices have shuttered entirely, refusing to issue licenses to any couples. Louisiana governor and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal issued an executive order months prior to the Supreme Court ruling which bars punishment of businesses or individuals for acting on their religious belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. In one particularly public battle, a Kentucky county clerk was ordered by the Kentucky governor Steve Beshear to either begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, or quit his job.
A number of republican presidential candidates have stated that, should a government employee have a religious objection to a gay or lesbian couple marrying, that employee should be exempted from performing such duties. Governor Chris Christie has said that he wouldn’t support that sort of dereliction of duty. Christie stated, “I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t… You took the job and you took the oath.” LGBT couples in the state of New Jersey should thus be able to rely on municipal and state offices continuing to support their right to marry, and to accommodate them in doing so.
If you and your partner are planning to get married in New Jersey, consider hiring the experienced family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro to handle your legal needs in protecting yours and your partners’ interests before doing so. You may wish to have a prenuptial agreement in place to protect the assets you’ve worked a lifetime to grow, should anything cause your relationship to end. Additionally, if you and your partner adopted children prior to being legally married, and only one of you is legally your child’s parent, John D’Alessandro can assist you in making both partners legal parents to your child. Should you have questions about the status of your existing civil union after the many changes to marriage law in the state of New Jersey over the past several years, contact our offices to clarify the current legal status of your union. Call today for a consultation on your same-sex marriage and family law issues at 908-964-0102.