Reversing course, judge reinstates count in N.J. gay marriage lawsuit

TRENTON — Reversing her November ruling, a Superior Court judge in Mercer County reinstated a count in a lawsuit Tuesday filed by seven same-sex couples, saying they could argue that the state’s 2006 law allowing civil unions violates the U.S. Constitution.

“At this juncture, the court is satisfied there is sufficient state action to permit the claim under the federal equal protection clause to proceed,’’ Judge Linda Feinberg wrote in her 27-page opinion.

The couples, along with the gay rights advocacy group Garden State Equality, filed the suit in June. They claimed they were refused the right to marry by being denied equal protection under the state constitution as well as equal protection and due process under the U.S. Constitution.

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