October 18, 2013 / 7:38 PM / 5 years ago

New Jersey high court says gay marriages can begin on Monday

NEW YORK, Oct 18 (Reuters) - New Jersey’s highest court on Friday said gay marriages can go forward starting on Monday, denying the state’s request to put them on hold while its appeal is considered.

Governor Chris Christie had asked the New Jersey Supreme Court to freeze a state judge’s ruling legalizing gay marriage until it hears the case in January and issues a final decision. But the court found that the state had “not shown a reasonable probability it will succeed on the merits,” according to a unanimous ruling.

Judge Mary Jacobson in Mercer County Superior Court in Trenton ruled three weeks ago in favor of several gay couples who had challenged the state’s civil union law, finding that it unfairly restricted federal benefits that are guaranteed for heterosexual married couples. (Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone)

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