By Max Pizarro | July 2nd, 2013 - 2:13pm
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In wake of DOMA decision, Lesniak reaches out to Acting AG Hoffman for NJ reassessment

In the aftermath of last week's Supreme Court strike-down of the Defense of Marriage Act, state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) wants Acting Attorney General John Hoffman to re-evaluate New Jersey civil union law and acknowledge that it violates the New Jersey Constitution.

"As a matter of law, civil unions do not qualify for federal benefits as same sex married couples do," Lesniak write in a letter to Hoffman. "Therefore, I respectfully request that you concur with the plaintiff's summary judgment motion in Garden State Equality v. Dow since civil unions do not provide the same benefits as marriage.

"For example, the Federal Government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) do not recognize a civil union partner as a dependent for tax purposes. Therefore, employers may have to treat a civil union partner's health benefit as a taxable fringe benefit and withhold federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes on the value of the premiums paid. I look forward to your quick response in reference to this matter."

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