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In New Jersey, a judge is expected to decide soon whether to stay her ruling that orders the state to grant gay marriages as of Oct. 21.

In a Sept. 27 ruling, Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson agreed with gay plaintiffs that New Jersey’s civil-union law puts them at an immediate and impermissible disadvantage because the federal government now recognizes gay unions — but only those in legal marriages.

New Jersey’s gay couples in civil unions “are now denied [federal] benefits solely as a result of the label placed upon them by the State,” Judge Jacobson wrote.

State officials promptly filed papers asking the judge to keep the status quo until the case can be fast-tracked to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The officials argued that New Jersey’s civil-union law is constitutional under both state and federal law, and should not be overturned based on a federal policy that is being applied incorrectly to states with civil unions.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, also has called for a public vote on gay marriage.

Meanwhile, gay-rights activists are inviting the Obama administration to weigh in on the state lawsuits just as it did with the DOMA case and Proposition 8 case in California.