(It's important for Republican leadership to note that in other states, it has been Republican-appointed courts that have upheld the equal protection clause of the Bill of Rights in these cases. New Jersey is not the first state in which old-line small government Republican governors have appointed judges who insist on protecting the rights and freedoms of individuals. The right wing of the Republican Party disgraces a core Republican tradition of liberty and justice for all when it seeks to void our Constitutional guarantees to equal protection and religious freedom.)
The Supreme Court of New Jersey today affirmed that the equal protection clause of the New Jersey Constitution protects the rights of gay and lesbian citizen of New Jersey, and that the equal protections of the law must extend to them.
The ruling was 7-0 for the application of equal protection to same couples, with the only split being between 4 Justices who affirm that an equivalent structure such as civil union would suffice, and 3 justices asserting that civil marriage must extend to same sex couples.
Of the 7 Justices, 4 were appointed by New Jersey Republican Governor Christine Todd Whitman. All 3 of the dissenters, who pressed further for civil marriage, were the appointees of a Republican governor.
The Court in this case has done its job as the sole responsible enforcer of the Bill of Rights when executive and legislative branches fall derelict. This opinion represents a black and white reading of the equal protection clause of the Constitution of New Jersey, a clause bearing nearly identical resemblance to that of the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Indiana.
Those who argue for an amendment to Constitutions propose the singularly un-American course of stripping American citizens from our guarantees of equal protection. Proposals to amend the Constitution in order to void its equal protection desecrate our founding documents, upend a core American ideal, and make a mockery of American freedom.