New Jersey lawmakers earlier this week voted to codify same-sex marriage into state law, even though same-sex marriage has been legal in the state since 2013, and nationwide since 2015.
On Monday, both the State Assembly and Senate voted to pass the bill 53-10 and 35-4 respectively. The New Jersey Globe reports that the bill was noncontroversial, and received bipartisan support.
While same-sex marriage is legal across the United States, its status is dependent on the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Should the Obergefell decision be challenged in another case, the Court could overrule its previous decision.
This possibility has loomed larger since the Court heard arguments in December challenging a controversial Mississippi abortion law, which would ban the procedure after 15 weeks. Legal analysts have speculated that the Court, with its conservative supermajority, will rule in favor of the state, thus undermining or possibly overturning Roe v. Wade.
“Basic equal rights should not be denied to any class of citizen, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation,” said State Senator Vin Gopal (D) in a statement following passage of New Jersey’s same-sex marriage codification bill, as reported by the New Jersey Globe. “The law must protect all civil rights and continue to honor the union between two people who love each other.”
He added, “We need to make these rights more secure by writing them into law.”
Democratic Governor Phil Murphy is expected to sign the bill into law.