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Same-Sex marriage ruling in NJ

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
September 27, 2013 1:25:17 PM PDT
A huge victory for gays and lesbians tonight thanks to a Superior Court Judge in New Jersey.

The Garden State at least for now, joining 13 other states including New York and Connecticut to allow same-sex marriages.

Judge Mary Jacobson of Mercer County, in a 53-page ruling that bypasses the state's legislative process, writing that, "same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution."

The judge setting Oct. 21 as the day same sex partners can start marrying in New Jersey. And she cited the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling dismantling the Defense of Marriage Act- saying folks in New Jersey would be denied federal benefits just because the state doesn't allow same-sex marriages.

This has huge implications for New Jersey. Gov. Christie has already vetoed a same-sex bill that passed the legislature last year. Legislators have been working on a bill to override that veto.

But before anyone puts a deposit down for a big same-sex wedding in New Jersey, know that this ruling is likely to be appealed. However, for right now, New Jersey becomes the 14th state to legalize same-sex marriage. "We won a great ruling today, and there is no turning back," says the Garden State Equality, the gay rights group that helped start this legal case.

We'll have reaction and the latest, at 11.

Also at 11, it's not yet "peace in our time," but peace has to start somewhere, right? And we can't help but wonder whether it may have started today, with Iran's President Hassan Rohani, in a car and heading, according to an official in Iran, "towards the New York International Airport," (clearly they don't know NYC!), talked on the phone with President Obama.

They talked about the need for a political will to facilitate nuclear disarmament.

"The very fact that this was the first communication between an American and Iranian president since 1979 underscores the deep mistrust between our countries, but it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history," said Pres. Obama. And Rohani's sign off? "Have a good day."

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

BILL RITTER

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