New Jersey’s courts and politicians have been deliberating over whether to allow gay marriage for more than a decade. The answer has changed quickly in the past month.
In September, a state judge ruled that New Jersey must allow the nuptials in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made the federal government recognize same-sex marriage.
The state’s top court ruled Friday afternoon that it would not delay Monday’s implementation date.
And at 12:01 a.m., couples in a handful of communities wed.
In Newark, Mayor Cory Booker, in one of his last acts before joining the U.S. Senate in coming weeks, led a ceremony for seven gay couples and two heterosexual couples.
“Tonight we have crossed a barrier, and now, while you all have fallen into love, I want to say that the truth is, that the state of New Jersey has risen to love,” he said. “This state now is resonant now with the core values of our country, with the idea that there is no second class citizenship in America, that we’re all equal under the law.”
In Lambertville, Joanne Shcailey and Beth Asaro were wed in a municipal courtroom packed with friends, family and journalists.
“We’re floating on air,” Asaro, in a salmon pink suit, said afterward. “It’s like winning the Super Bowl,” said Schailey, who wore a black suit.
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