Twenty-eight municipalities statewide have been cited by New Jersey officials for excluding the LGBTQIA+ community in their online marriage license applications.
The municipalities face fines of up to $10,000 if they don't fix the problem, the state said.
Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Division on Civil Rights said DCR has issued Notices of Violation to the municipalities for allegedly violating the Law Against Discrimination by publishing marriage license application forms on their websites that exclude certain LGBTQIA+ individuals seeking to obtain marriage licenses.
The applicants in the 28 communities only have a choice of male or female on the application forms, Plotkin said.
"Marriage equality is not just the law. It is a fundamental right,” Platkin said.
The state Department of Health includes a third-gender option on its forms, he said.
DCR has issued Notices of Violation to the following 28 municipalities: Audubon, Carney’s Point, Chester Township, Commercial, Delran, Fair Haven, Farmingdale, Hi-Nella, Lopatcong, Lumberton, Manasquan, Milltown, Morris Plains, Morristown, Ocean Gate, Oceanport, Old Bridge, Pemberton, Pennsauken, Pohatcong, Raritan Borough, Stockton, Sussex Borough, Vineland, West Cape May, Westhampton, Westville, and Woodlynne.
In each case, the Notice of Violation advises that the exclusionary gender options in the municipality’s marriage application form violate New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination.
DCR Director Sundeep Iyer added: "The law in New Jersey is crystal clear: No one can be denied the fundamental right to marry based on their gender identity,”
Among other things, the Notices of Violation issued by DCR warn each municipality that the marriage license application form published on their websites violates the LAD, and that such violations could result in financial penalties of up to $10,000.
The Notices of Violation also contain an offer of settlement.
If the municipality does not contest the facts as set out by DCR, it can resolve the matter by entering into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance agreement.
To find out more information, visit www.njoag.gov/about/divisions-and-offices/division-on-civil-rights-home/ .
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