New Jersey to decide on gay marriage

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Campaigners for and against gay marriage will be keeping an eye on New Jersey tomorrow when the issue is debated before the state Supreme Court.

In the courtroom the arguments will mainly concentrate on who should decide whether to allow it: lawmakers or judges.

The state Attorney General’s office, defending New Jersey’s ban on same-sex marriage, believes the Legislature should make such important and controversial decisions.

Lower courts have agreed, but the state high court has been friendly to gay rights in the past. It ruled in favour of adoption rights for gay couples and was among the first states to discard anti-sodomy laws.

Legislators, too, have adopted domestic partnership laws, which extended some benefits of marriage, taxes issues and hospital visitation, to same-sex couples.