Back in September 2004 I wrote about the prospect of Lewis v. Harris going directly to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Yesterday, the New Jersey intermediate Appellate Court ruled on Lewis v. Harris and held that denying same sex couples the right to marry does not a violate the New Jersey constitution (Court’s decision – PDF). In very lengthy, well reasoned opinions the three Judge panel actually wrote three separate opinions. Judge Skillman thoroughly reviewed the New Jersey precedents and the decisions of both sister states and our federal courts in writing the majority’s opinion. Judge Parrillo concurred with Judge Skillman, but wrote an equally thorough concurring opinion. And, Judge Collester wrote a dissenting opinion. The dissenting opinion and the three separate opinions by the three Appellate Judges virtually guarantees that the case will proceed to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Two interesting points emerge from the case: 1. The Court was quite clear in stating that the question was limited to only whether the denial of same sex marriages violated the New Jersey state constitution. No challenge was made in the case regarding any violation of the US Constitution; and, 2. The majority observed that many of the inequities which may otherwise occur as a result of denying same se couples the right of marriage were cured by New Jersey’s recently adopted Domestic Partnership Act. It is somewhat ironic that the Domestic Partnership Act would be used in support of an argument to deny same sex marriage. Many legal authorities familiar with the Domestic Partnership Act would not agree with Court’s conclusion that many of the inequities visited upon non married same sex couples were cured by the adoption of the Partnership Act. Private employee pensions, medical benefits and federal tax filing status, to cite a few issues, still remain unanswered and unresolved issues under the Domestic Partnership Act.