NEW JERSEY — New Jersey is set to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples, despite a state law prohibiting such unions.
The state Supreme Court on Monday denied an appeal by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey that sought to stop the law from taking effect.
It was the first time the high court has refused to hear a challenge to a gay marriage law.
The ACLU argued that New Jersey’s marriage license law is discriminatory against gays, because it only allows marriage between same-aged couples.
The law was approved in 2013 by the Legislature, and Gov.
Chris Christie has said he supports same-marriage, but said he will not make a decision on gay marriage until the state legislature votes on it.
The bill, which also allows civil unions, does not require same-level married couples to register, so many who do would not qualify.
It is not clear if the ACLU will be able to get the measure on the ballot this year, as it is currently, or if it will try to have it passed this time.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.