Hours after joyous gay couples began
marrying on Monday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie dropped his
appeal of a ruling legalizing gay marriage in the state.
“At long last, the freedom to marry
is now permanently law of the land in New Jersey,” Evan Wolfson,
founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said in an emailed
statement. “The marriages of loving, committed couples throughout
the Garden State, combined with Governor Christie's withdrawal of his
appeal, is joyous news to New Jerseyans, both gay and non-gay. The
momentum continues to build nationwide and we are working hard to
deliver victories in Hawaii, Illinois and New Mexico in 2013.”
New Jersey is the 14th state
to legalize marriage equality. Gay couples can also marry in the
District of Columbia.
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson
ruled on September 27 that New Jersey must begin issuing marriage
licenses to gay and lesbian couples as of October 21.
Christie, a Republican, appealed the
order to the state Supreme Court and asked Jacobson to stay her
decision until the matter is resolved. Jacobson denied the request,
stating that the administration was unlikely to win its appeal.
“Granting a stay would simply allow
the state to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey
same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest,”
The New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to
hear the appeal but unanimously denied the state's request for a stay
Mayors of several cities, including
Newark and Jersey City, began marrying gay and lesbian couples at the
stroke of midnight on Monday.
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Christie had reiterated his opposition
to gay nuptials throughout his reelection campaign.
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