7 NJ couples file suit demanding gay marriage

By the Associated Press | June 29, 2011 | 11:45 AM EDT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Seven gay New Jersey couples and many of their children have filed a lawsuit demanding the state begin recognizing gay marriage.

The couples say in a suit filed Wednesday morning that the state's civil union law creates a separate and unequal system.

Civil unions were created in 2007 after the state Supreme Court said the state had to give gay couples the same rights as married couples.

The plaintiffs say others don't understand their civil unions. That's resulted in partners having trouble being allowed to make medical decisions at hospitals for their loved ones.

Gov. Chris Christie says the state should instead improve the civil union law.

Garden State Equality chairman Steven Goldstein says the only fix would be to allow gay marriage.