HADDONFIELD, N.J. — Same-sex marriages can begin within days in New Jersey, after the state’s highest court ruled unanimously Friday to uphold an order that they must start Monday, and to deny a delay sought by Governor Chris Christie’s administration.
The ruling puts New Jersey on the cusp of becoming the 14th state — and the third most-populous among them — to allow same-sex marriage. The advocacy group Freedom to Marry said that as of Monday, one-third of Americans will live in a place where same-sex marriage is legal.
‘‘The state has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: Same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today,’’ the court said in an opinion written by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. ‘‘The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative.’’
A judge on a lower court ruled last month that New Jersey must recognize same-sex marriage, and set Monday as the date to allow weddings. Christie, a Republican who is considered a possible 2016 presidential candidate, appealed the decision and asked for the start date to be put on hold while it was pending.
A spokesman for Christie said he will comply with the ruling, though he doesn’t like it.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week