New Jersey civil unions bill signed into law

New Jersey civil unions bill signed into law

[JURIST] New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed into law Thursday legislation [PDF text] providing legal recognition to same-sex civil unions [JURIST news archive]. The New Jersey Legislature passed the civil unions bill last week in response to an October New Jersey Supreme Court ruling [PDF text; JURIST report] that same-sex couples must be given equal rights. The court said the state legislature must decide within 180 days whether the state would recognize same-sex marriage or another form of civil partnership. The civil unions law will take effect February 19. AP has more.

Currently, Massachusetts is the only US state to allow full same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive], which was legalized when the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled [JURIST report] in 2003 that a ban on such marriages was unconstitutional.