And newly elected U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D. NJ) was the one to help kick off this joyous day:New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie abandoned the state's legal challenge to same-sex marriage on Monday, hours after gay couples began tying the knot in the wake of a court ruling.
Christie said that while he disagreed with the court's decision, it "left no ambiguity," making New Jersey the 14th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
New Jersey legally recognizing same-sex marriage sent couples throughout the state into a frantic scramble, with Christie instructing the state’s Department of Health to cooperate with municipalities to issue licenses.
Christie, a Republican with a national profile, is a popular figure in New Jersey, but his move to drop the appeal could cause him some support if he decides to run for president. - NBC News, 10/21/13
This would be Booker's first time officiating any marriage:One by one nine couples — seven same-sex and two heterosexual — walked down the marble staircase at City Hall early today to be married by Newark Mayor Cory Booker early today.
"It is officially past midnight, marriage is equal in New Jersey," Booker told the crowd to kick off the ceremony.
As Booker was marrying the first couple, Joseph Panessidi and Orville Bell, someone attempted to disrupt the ceremony.
Booker had asked if anyone had reason to object to the marriage and a protester screamed “This is unlawful in the eyes of God and Jesus Christ.”
Booker, who was elected to the U.S. Senate last week, called for the person to be removed and police dragged him out.
As Booker continued speaking, “...not hearing any substantive and worthy objections,” thunderous applause erupted. - The Star-Ledger, 10/21/13
Congratulations to all the newly married couples in New Jersey! Cheers!Booker said he expected a couple of hundred people in the rotunda at midnight, said it was going to be some party. Said he had just gotten “under the wire” with his ability to officiate at weddings, that senators don’t have the right, that he was running out of time before he stepped down as mayor in a matter of days.
“I’m being honest when I tell you it’s going to be hard keeping my emotions in check,” Booker said. “This isn’t about me, this is just a great moment for our state and for our country.”
Here is what Chief Justice Stuart Rabner of New Jersey’s Supreme Court wrote on Friday in a decision upholding a lower court order allowing gay marriage in his state, thus denying the delay that Gov. Chris Christie had sought as part of a bad, dumb, losing game:
“The state has advanced a number or arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: Same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today. The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative.” - New York Daily News, 10/21/13