New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration on Tuesday asked a judge to delay implementation of her order that the state allow gay marriage until an appeal can be decided, saying the state will suffer “irreparable harm” if same-sex marriages are allowed without its highest court weighing in.
The motion was an expected part of the fallout from Friday’s ruling by Judge Mary Jacobson that the state must recognize same-sex marriage starting Oct. 21. The administration said hours after the ruling that it would appeal, and it announced Monday that it would seek to keep any gay marriages from being performed while the appeal is being considered. Christie and Democrats alike want the matter to be fast-tracked to the state Supreme Court, skipping the usual step at an intermediate appellate court.
The ruling was the first of its kind in a state court since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the federal government can’t deny benefits to married same-sex couples. Jacobson agreed with a group of New Jersey couples that in light of that ruling the state is now blocking couples from receiving federal benefits in violation of the state constitution.