New Jersey’s first sexless marriage was approved by the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, bringing to an end the years-long legal battle between gay and straight couples.
The court issued the marriage license to Timothy and James Johnson on Tuesday evening, just two days before their marriage would have been legally recognized in New York.
The pair had been married in California in 2014 and had been fighting for marriage equality since 2011, when they were married in Utah, a state that has legalized same-sex marriage.
But in New Zealand, the couples had been waiting for New Jersey to make marriage equality a state constitutional amendment, after New Zealand became the first country in the world to legalize same-gender marriage in 2015.
New Jersey’s marriage license allows Timothy Johnson to legally marry James Johnson.
The state Supreme Judicial Court said Tuesday that the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision to overturn New York’s ban on same- gender marriage is the most significant legal victory for gay and lesbian couples since the Supreme Court declared same- sex marriage legal nationwide in 2015.
“This is a significant step forward in our country’s progress towards marriage equality, and the court’s ruling is a victory for New York families and families all over the country,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.
“New Jersey families and their loved ones deserve to be treated equally in every facet of their lives, including the ability to get the legal right to marry,” Schneiderman added.
In 2016, the Supreme Courts of New York and New Jersey struck down laws that prohibited the gay and bisexual communities from marrying, while allowing the religious organizations to bless the unions.