In response to a lingering question arising from the recent court decision permitting same-sex marriage in New Jersey (Garden State Equality v. Dow), the New Jersey Department of Health has issued a statement confirming that New Jersey will recognize the validity of same-sex marriages performed in other states. As a result, such couples do not need to get “re-married” in New Jersey.
This is good news for same-sex spouses who no longer have to worry about the possibility of having to get “re-married” in New Jersey and demonstrates New Jersey’s commitment to achieving equality for all married persons. The “not so good news” is for New Jersey civil union partners, since the Garden State Equality v. Dow decision did not automatically convert New Jersey civil unions to marriages. As a result, civilly unionized partners must affirmatively marry in New Jersey (or another state as discussed above) in order to be considered “married” and thereby obtain the benefits and protections to which they are entitled