Lambda Legal and Garden State Equality have joined together to sue the state of New Jersey on behalf of seven same-sex couples over harm caused by the state’s unequal civil union system. New Jersey’s civil unions law, according to Lambda Legal, violates the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution, as well as New Jersey’s own Constitution.

New Jersey is one of a handful of states that offer civil unions to LGBT couples. The law was passed in 2006. New Jersey nearly passed full marriage equality in 2010, but the measure narrowly failed in the state’s senate. The latest lawsuit was filed on June 29, 2011.

According to Garden State Equality, LGBT couples have had problems receiving employer benefits traditionally offered to married couples, such as health insurance.

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