TRENTON – Senate President Richard J. Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr. today issued the following joint statement in response to the state Supreme Court’s decision regarding the rights of same-sex couples:
“Given the fact that it took the judicial system nearly four years to come up with a 4-3 split decision, we think the determination by only four justices that the entire Legislature is obligated to respond within 180 days is unreasonable.
“Nevertheless, our state constitution was interpreted today by the entire court to reinforce the principles of equal rights, equal protection and equal opportunity under the law.
“The importance of today’s ruling is the declaration that the rights and benefits of same sex couples cannot be compromised.
“We are prepared to defend the constitutional rights of our citizens and will not support – nor will we post for a vote – any constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s decision protecting same sex couples.
“The only remaining issues now confronting the Legislature are ones of terminology and clarification. The Legislature’s course of action will be determined only after discussion by our respective caucuses.”