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New Jersey judge grants divorce to same-sex couple married in Canada

[JURIST] A judge in New Jersey granted a divorce [ACLU-NJ press release] Friday to a lesbian couple married in Canada. Speaking from the bench, Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson said her decision was in harmony with the state's tradition [AP report] of recognizing valid marriages performed outside the state, but cautioned that her ruling would not extend such recognition to areas other than divorce. The New Jersey Attorney General's office [official website] argued that the relationship should be dissolved as a civil union rather than recognized as a marriage, consistent with a 2007 Attorney General's opinion [JURIST report; PDF text]. The ACLU countered that such an outcome might leave the marriage intact in Canada and states that recognize same-sex marriages [JURIST news archive]. In 2006, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed into law [JURIST report] legislation [PDF text] providing legal recognition to same-sex civil unions in New Jersey.

Late last month the Manhattan Surrogate Court [official website] ruled [JURIST report; PDF text] that the surviving partner of a same-sex marriage performed in Canada is entitled to inherit the estate of a deceased spouse in New York state.

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