State Attorney General's Office spokesman Leland Moore declined to comment Friday.
On Sept. 27, Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson, ruling in Garden State Equality v. Dow, found that the state's civil union law violated civil rights. She ordered that same-sex couples be allowed to marry starting Oct. 21.
The Christie administration quickly stated that it intended to appeal and moved for the judge to stay her order while the state sought to have the case heard by a higher court.
In its motion, the state said it was likely to win on appeal. As for irreparable harm, which in New Jersey must be shown to win a stay, the state cited the court's superseding the civil-union law, which was passed by legislators.
Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal, an organization that advocates for legal rights for LGBT people and those with AIDS, said the state had showed no real harm.
"The harms of a stay are exclusively on the part of the plaintiffs," she said. "Their families are hurt every day that they can't protect them legally."
Among the potential harms of denying couples the right to marry mentioned in the brief are denial of federal family leave to care for a sick partner, inability to sponsor a civil-union partner in immigration matters, loss of federal survivor benefits, and tax disadvantages.
Garden State Equality executive director Troy Stevenson said he found it "very ironic and very offensive" that the state would argue it was being harmed by the court's override of a law, given that the Legislature passed a later law allowing same-sex marriages. That law was vetoed by Gov. Christie, who has said he believes the issue should be left to the voters to decide.
Stevenson also said his organization was pushing ahead with its campaign to garner legislative support for a veto override.
The state can file a response to Lambda Legal's brief Monday. The state has indicated it would take its quest for a stay to the Appellate Division if Jacobson denies its request.