BY GEOFF MULVIHILL
TRENTON, N.J. -- A state judge refused Thursday to delay the start of same-sex marriage in New Jersey until a legal appeal can be settled, denying efforts by Gov. Chris Christie's administration to put off gay weddings.
As it stands, the state must grant marriage licenses for same-sex couples starting Oct. 21. But the administration of Christie, a Republican who is considered a possible presidential candidate for 2016, was expected to appeal the denial of the stay to a higher court.
"Granting a stay would simply allow the state to continue to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest," Judge Mary Jacobson wrote.
The Christie administration had already asked the state Supreme Court to weigh in Jacobson's initial decision last month that the state had to allow gay marriage.