Citing the Supreme Court's United States vs. Windsor decision and state equal rights laws, a New Jersey judge has ruled that the state must allow gay marriage. Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ordered state officials to start officiating same-sex marriages on October 21.

"Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey constitution," Jacobson wrote in a 53-page opinion.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration will appeal the ruling, first to an intermediate court and then, most likely, to the state’s Supreme Court.

"Governor Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day,” Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said in a statement. “Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination.”

[Image via AP]