New Jersey Residents Challenge Same-Sex 'Marriage Licenses'

Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:04pm EDT
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( - Two New Jersey residents filed a lawsuit Monday in state court against the City of Asbury Park's challenging the city's actions in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in violation of state law.

The American Center for Law and Justice represents George Saxenmeyer and Maureen McCarthy, two residents of Asbury Park, who are challenging the same-sex "marriage" performed by city officials on March 8th and the city's decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"The law in New Jersey is very clear: marriage is the union of one man and one woman," said Vincent McCarthy, senior counsel of the ACLJ, which is representing a number of plaintiffs in the suit.

"The city acted improperly when it conducted a same-sex marriage, issued a marriage certificate to the same-sex couple, and allowed several other same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. This lawsuit is aimed at putting a stop to the lawless actions of the city and is an important move to protect marriage," said McCarthy.

The lawsuit asks the court to find that the city violated state law by performing a same-sex "marriage" and that the city has no authority to issue same-sex "marriage applications" or "licenses" and that the "licenses" issued be voided.

"We are hopeful that the court will take the appropriate action to ensure that the marriage laws of New Jersey are respected and upheld," said McCarthy.

The move comes days after New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey warned city officials to stop performing the same-sex "marriages ceremonies" or face possible criminal prosecution.

Harvey said any certificates or licenses issued to same-sex couples would "have no legal force and will not be recognized as valid under state law." In November, New Jersey's Superior Court ruled that state law did not permit same-sex marriages.

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