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NJ codifies same-sex marriage, protects right to marry

Published Tuesday, Jan. 11th, 2022

Marriage equality officially becomes law in New Jersey



New Jersey state law now explicitly protects the right of same-sex couples to marry. 


Gov Phil Murphy signed a bill into law on Monday that amends the existing NJ statute to ensure all laws concerning marriage and civil union be treated as gender neutral. This takes effect immediately. 


“New Jersey is stronger and fairer when every member of our LGBTQ+ family is valued and given equal protection under the law,” Gov Murphy said, adding, “I am honored to sign legislation that represents our New Jersey values and codifies marriage equality into state law.” (via the Office of the Governor)


The bill to codify same-sex marriage in state law, SB3416, was first introduced by legislators in Feb 2021 in the midst of growing concern that marriage equality protections might be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. 


Although the right of same-sex couples to marry is currently protected nationally by the landmark 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, and at the state level by the 2013 Garden State Equality decision, NJ’s statutory laws hadn’t been updated to reflect these cases. 


Now, they have! The right of same-sex couples to marry is officially protected by NJ law. 



Great work, New Jersey!


The amended law reads: 


New Jersey Statutes
§ 37:1-1.  Marriages and civil unions


  a. (Deleted by amendment) 
 b. (Deleted by amendment) 
 c.  Laws concerning marriage and civil union shall be read with gender neutral intent.
 d.  No person shall marry or enter into a civil union with any of the person's ancestors or descendants, or the person's sibling, or the child of the person's sibling, or the sibling of the person's parent, whether such collateral kindred be of the whole or half blood.
e. A marriage or civil union in violation of subsection d. of this section shall be absolutely void.


In addition, Section 94 of P.L. 2006, c.103 (C.37:1-36) is repealed.




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Did you know?


Most states still have defunct bans on same-sex marriage in their constitutions and statutes, but legislators are working to change this. 


Nevada became the first state to codify same-sex marriage in its laws in 2020.


Missouri, Florida, and Virginia are all currently considering legislation that would codify same-sex marriage:





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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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