Gay marriage advocates in New Jersey will file court papers today arguing the state's existing civil unions law does not give same sex couples the same legal protections as heterosexual couples.
Leslie Gabel-Brett, director of Lambda Legal, says the New Jersey Senate's rejection of marriage equality earlier this year may actually bolster Lambda's court case.
"Some of the legislators stood up and said 'we acknowledge that the civil unions law is not adequate,'" said Gabel-Brett. "And yet the legislature did not pass a marriage equality law. So that's what we are going to go back to the New Jersey Supreme Court and say."
Opponents say same sex-marriage advocates are using the courts to make an end run around voters and the legislature.
In 2008, California's state Supreme Court granted same sex unions marital status. Later that year, a voter-backed ballot measure limited marriage as a union between a man and woman.