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Valley Public Radio Staff
Mon October 21, 2013
UPDATE: N.J. Gov. Christie Won't Fight Gay-Marriage Ruling
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 11:09 am
"Gov. Chris Christie announced today that he was dropping the fight against same-sex marriage in New Jersey by withdrawing his appeal of a major case that was being heard by the state Supreme Court," The Star-Ledger writes.
Christie's office has released a copy if its court filing, in which it officially withdraws its appeal.
So it would seem that same-sex marriages, which began early Monday in the state thanks to a court ruling issued Friday, will continue.
Colin Reed, a spokesman for the Republican governor, tells the Star-Ledger that "although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law. The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court."
Our original post — "Tears Of Joy As Same-Sex Marriages Begin In New Jersey":
Minutes after midnight, as Sunday turned into Monday, gay couples in towns and cities across New Jersey said their "I do's" as the state became the 14th to allow same-sex marriages.
The legal path was cleared for them Friday, as we reported, when the state's Supreme Court rejected a request to halt such ceremonies.
In Newark early Monday, Mayor Cory Booker (a Democrat who last week won a special election for the U.S. Senate) declared "it is officially past midnight, [and] marriage is equal in New Jersey," as he began a series of ceremonies in city hall.
"At one point, the event took a particularly emotional turn. As Booker married Gabriela Celeiro and Liz Salerno, the two held each other and got teary.
" 'There's some law about making a mayor cry, ' he joked. 'It's illegal.'
"He later said he had to collect himself before marrying the next couple."
There was at least one demonstrator at Newark's city hall. The Associated Press says "there was a brief disruption from a protester who cried out, 'This is unlawful in the eyes of God and Jesus Christ.' "
According to the Star-Ledger, police removed the man. Then there was applause when Booker resumed the ceremony by saying: "not hearing any substantive and worthy objections ..."
The New York Times writes that "in Lambertville, N.J., the marriage certificate of Beth Asaro and Joanne Schailey allowed only for a 'bride' and a 'groom,' so Ms. Asaro — in a pink suit — was listed as the groom, and Ms. Schailey — in a black suit — as the bride. ... So it went on Sunday night in towns across New Jersey, where a judge's ruling that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry went into effect just after midnight on Monday, capping a weekend-long frenzy of flower-arranging, Champagne-spraying, hair-styling, ring-buying and cake-baking. "
The Times says "hundreds of people ... rushed to make wedding arrangements over the weekend."
For an explainer on "gay marriage in New Jersey," click here.