As high court signals Roe v. Wade reversal, states eye same-sex marriage protections

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01/12/2022

Nearly seven years after the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage the law of the land, New Jersey enacted a law Monday to protect this relatively new right throughout the Garden State. Prior to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges — which legalized sex-marriage nationwide in 2015 — New Jersey’s state courts had already struck down a same-sex marriage ban in 2013. But as a majority of the Supreme Court’s conservative justices appeared open to overturning Roe v. Wade last month, new fears that the court could also make an about-face on the Obergefell ruling have prompted some lawmakers to enshrine same-sex marriage into state law. “We’ve been fighting for marriage equality for decades, and to turn back the clock would be devastating,” New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, who co-sponsored the newly passed bill, told NBC News. “I can’t emphasize enough the fact that we need to safeguard it in light of what’s happening on a federal level today.” Both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature passed the bill last month, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed it into law Monday. “Despite the progress we have made as a country, there is still much work to be done to protect the LGBTQ+ community from intolerance and injustice,” Murphy said in a statement. “New Jersey is stronger and fairer when every member of our LGBTQ+ family is valued and given equal protection under the law.”

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