NJ Makes 14: Gay Marriage Comes to Garden State

Chris Christie drops appeal; Cory Booker ties some knots

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 21, 2013 3:18 AM CDT | Updated Oct 21, 2013 9:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – New Jersey officially became the 14th state to allow same-sex marriage today, and it looks like it's going to stay that way. Gov. Chris Christie this morning ordered his administration to drop its appeal of the state Supreme Court decision allowing the unions, Bloomberg reports. The move follows a series of stroke-of-midnight marriages across the state. Senator-elect Cory Booker married nine couples—two of them heterosexual, reports the Star-Ledger.

As Booker was marrying the first couple, a protester screamed, "This is unlawful in the eyes of God and Jesus Christ" when Booker asked if there were any objections. As police removed the man, the crowd cheered when Booker said he was "not hearing any substantive and worthy objections." The ceremonies marked the first time Booker has presided over weddings as mayor. "I wasn't going to marry anybody if I couldn't marry everybody," he said afterward. A handful of towns, however, have refused to grant licenses to same-sex couples, the AP reports.

Beth Asaro, left, and Joanne Schailey share a moment with their daughter Kate, 13, after they exchanged vows in the first same-sex marriage in Lambertville, New Jersey history.   (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
Lydia Torres, left, 44, and Jenelle Torres, 42, right, kiss after Newark Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker, officiated their wedding ceremony at Newark City Hall just after midnight.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Newark Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker, left, shares a laugh as he officiates at the marriage of Joseph Panessidi, center right, 65, and Orville Bell, 65, in Newark City Hall.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Newark Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker, center, looks on as Alexander Padilla, left, 37, cuts the wedding cake after he and Anthony Arenas, right, 36, were married by Booker at Newark City Hall.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
As other couples look on, Newark Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker officiates the ceremony for the same-sex marriage of Gabriela Celeiro, center, 34, and Liz Salerno, 38, at Newark City Hall.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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