Six organizations filed a brief Monday with the New Jersey supreme court on the detrimental impact the state’s civil union law has on children. The friend of the court brief was filed in support of the motion to the high court seeking marriage equality.
The brief is from Garden State Equality, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, the Family Equality Council, COLAGE, and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, in support of the motion Lambda Legal filed in March. It draws on the substantial literature from a variety of fields that shows the second-class stigma marriage inequality imposes on children and families.
“Aside from describing the impact that marriage inequality has on LGBT children, the brief painstakingly describes how the civil union law inflicts psychological harm on the children of same-sex couples, whether the children are LGBT or straight, by making it difficult or impossible to explain their parents’ relationship — thereby making the children feel inferior and deeply insecure,” according to a press release from Garden State Equality.
The brief can be read in its entirety here.
The New Jersey marriage equality battle returned to the court this year after the state legislature failed to pass same-sex marriage legislation in January. The state must file its response to Lambda Legal’s motion before the end of May, after which time Lambda Legal will have a chance to respond. It may be known by early fall what action the court wants to take.
“Our side is saying, supreme court of New Jersey, you have already ruled that same-sex couples must get equal protection under the law as a constitutional matter and that the civil union law has not fulfilled that,” said Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality, in a phone interview with The Advocate. “This is very much not a new question for the court. Our side is simply seeking to have the court enforce what it already delivered, which is equality."