New Jersey Judge Mary Jacobson ruled not to delay allowing same-sex marriage until a legal appeal is settled, prompting Gov. Chris Christie to seek an emergency challenge to her decision Thursday.
Jacobson ruled in late September that the state must grant gay marriage licenses since federal law recognizes same-sex marriage and denying this right would be deemed unconstitutional, the Associated Press reports.
In her ruling Thursday Jacobson cited the setback would “continue to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey same-sex couples.”
Gov. Christie is seeking a state appeals court to overturn her decision and also plans to take the case to the state Supreme Court. The republican governor, who is also a possible 2016 presidential candidate, has argued in the past that the core definition of marriage in the state should only be changed by a voter referendum, not by the state legislature or courts.
New Jersey recognizes civil unions but not marriage. The state will join 13 other states that grant same-sex marriage licenses starting Oct. 21.