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ACLJ Files Suit Against Asbury Park, New Jersey to Stop Same-Sex Marriage

ACLJ Files Suit Against Asbury Park, New Jersey to Stop Same-Sex Marriage

Business Editors

FREEHOLD, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 15, 2004

The American Center for Law and Justice, an international public interest law firm, today filed suit in state court in New Jersey against the City of Asbury Park, New Jersey challenging the city’s actions to marry same-sex couples in defiance of state law.

“The law in New Jersey is very clear: marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” said Vincent McCarthy, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ, which is representing a number of plaintiffs in the suit. “The city acted improperly when it conducted a same-sex marriage, issued a marriage certificate to the same-sex couple, and allowed several other same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. This lawsuit is aimed at putting a stop to the lawless actions of the city and is an important move to protect marriage.”

The ACLJ filed suit today in the Law Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Freehold, N.J. on behalf of two residents. The suit challenges the same-sex marriage performed by city officials on March 8 and the city’s decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples contending that the city “violated well established New Jersey law and public policy.”

The ACLJ represents George Saxenmeyer and Maureen McCarthy, two residents of Asbury Park.

The suit asks the court to find that the city violated state law by performing a same-sex marriage and that the city has no authority to issue same-sex marriage applications or licenses and that the licenses issued be voided.

“We are hopeful that the court will take the appropriate action to ensure that the marriage laws of New Jersey are respected and upheld,” said McCarthy.

The suit comes just days after New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey warned city officials to stop performing same-sex marriages or face possible criminal prosecution. Harvey said that any certificates or licenses issued to same-sex couples would “have no legal force and will not be recognized as valid under state law.” In November, New Jersey’s Superior Court ruled that state law did not permit same-sex marriages.

Two local law firms are assisting the ACLJ in this case: Cassidy Messina & Laffey, P.C. of Holmdel and the Law Offices of Demetrios K. Stratis, LLC in Wayne.

The ACLJ is committed to protecting the institution of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The ACLJ is working to protect marriage in numerous states including Massachusetts and California and is urging Congress to approve a federal marriage amendment.

The American Center for Law and Justice is an international public interest law firm specializing in constitutional law and focuses on pro-family cases. The ACLJ is based in Washington, D.C. and its website address is www.aclj.org.

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