Today, in Iowa, the State Supreme Court unanimously held that prohibiting gay marriage violates the Iowa Constitution. The effect of this decision is that there will be yet another state where gay couples will be entitle to the same rights and privileges of heterosexual couples. This will also mean that marriages in Iowa will be recognized here in New Jersey.
The laws of New Jersey recognize gay unions, whether marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships, so long as the rights and privileges under the laws of the state granting such a union are substantially similar to those provided to a married heterosexual couple. Thus, not only will an Iowa gay marriage be recognized here, but should the marriage disintegrate, New Jersey will also provide a forum for these marriages to be dissolved by way of divorce if the jurisdictional requirements are met.
New Jersey’s recognition of same-sex unions even reaches beyond the United States. This issue was recently before the Honorable Mary C. Jacobson, P.J.F.P., of the New Jersey Superior Court in Mercer County, who held that a same-sex couple who were married in British Columbia were entitled to a divorce in New Jersey based upon the principles of comity and ordered that the Plaintiff was entitled to pursue dissolution of her same-sex marriage to the Defendant by seeking a Final Judgment of Divorce.