Posted by: st-ryker | 2006/10/26

An interesting and VERY pertinenent...

snippet of news from the USA...

New Jersey's Supreme Court just ruled that gay couples are entitled to the same rights as straight couples. The court did leave it to the Legislature to determine whether the state will honor gay marriage or some other form of civil union.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has a history of extending civil rights protections. In this case the high court has given state lawmakers 180 days to rewrite marriage laws to either include gay couples or create new civil unions.

"The issue is not about the transformation of the traditional definition of marriage, but about the unequal dispensation of benefits and privileges to one of two similarly situated classes of people," the court said in its ruling which won with a 4-3 vote.

New Jersey voted in 2004 to allow domestic partnerships. Under domestic partnerships, gay couples have some benefits of marriage, such as the right to inherit possessions if there is no will and healthcare coverage for state workers. There are still limited rights available though due to the absence of any federal protections.

Only five U.S. states don't have laws or state constitutional amendments blocking same-sex marriages. Only Massachusetts actually allows gay marriages and is based on a 2003 ruling from that state's top court.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi again St-ryker and thanks for this post.

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