Recently-elected U.S. Senator Cory Booker presided over some of the first same-sex marriages in New Jersey just after midnight on Monday.
Nine couples were married at city hall in Newark, where Booker is mayor, last night. The marriages came in the wake of a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which on Friday refused a request from the state government to delay a lower court’s decision that would make gay marriage legal in the state starting on Monday, the Associated Press noted.
Last year, the state legislature passed a law that would have okayed gay marriage in New Jersey. However, Republican Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill.
The veto led to a legal challenge. The state’s Supreme Court will take up the Christie administration’s appeal of the lower court decision in January. New Jersey becomes the 14th U.S. state to recognize same-sex marriage, following Minnesota and Rhode Island where such marriages legal over the summer.
As Booker performed the marriages, one observer objected, proclaiming that the ceremony was “unlawful in the eyes of God and Jesus Christ.” The person was escorted from the building and the marriages were completed. Booker won a special election to replace New Jersey’s late Senator Frank Lautenberg last week.
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