Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Gay marriage now legal in New Jersey

21 October 2013, 10:35

Lambertville - Gay couples in a handful of New Jersey communities exchanged marriage vows in the early minutes of Monday morning, becoming the first to take advantage of a court ruling that forced the state to become the 14th in the United States to recognise same-sex nuptials.

The ceremonies joined couples that have been together for years, and in some cases decades, in hastily arranged ceremonies that remained in doubt until Friday afternoon when a unanimous state Supreme Court rejected Gov Chris Christie's administration's request to delay the implementation date of same-sex weddings ordered by a lower court last month.

In the gay-friendly community of Lambertville, Beth Asaro and Joanne Schailey smiled through a ceremony in the same crowded municipal courtroom where almost seven years ago they became one of the first couples in the state joined in a civil union.

"We remained optimistic and hopeful that we would be able to gather together to do the right thing, the just thing, and see our two friends get married," Mayor Dave DelVecchio, who led both the 2007 ceremony and Monday's, said before leading the couple of 27 years through their vows as their 13-year-old daughter served as the flower girl.

"We're floating on air," Asaro, in a salmon pink suit said afterward.

Lawful spouses

At Newark's City Hall, where seven gay couples and two heterosexual couples were wed, there was a brief disruption from a protester who cried out, "This is unlawful in the eyes of God and Jesus Christ," before Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat elected last week to the US Senate declared Gabriela Celeiro and Liz Salerno "lawful spouses". After the protester was removed, the mayor, choking up, paused, put his hand over his heart and said, "This is very beautiful".

Christie, the Republican governor, and a possible 2016 presidential candidate, asked the state's top court to overturn the lower-court ruling allowing gay marriage, and not to force the state to recognize same-sex marriage until the appeal was resolved.

The court agreed to hear the overall case in January but on Friday announced it would not delay the start of the marriages, in part because it said the state is not likely to prevail in its arguments next year. Christie said the state would comply with the ruling, though he also reaffirmed his position that whether to allow gay marriage should be decided by a popular vote, not a judge or even legislature.

A few minutes before midnight on Sunday in Jersey City, Mayor Steve Fulop gathered eight couples in the front of the city council chambers to conduct a swift mass ceremony.

"I never thought I'd see this in my lifetime," said Barbara Milton after she was married to Kay Osborn. "To have this moment of equality is overwhelming."

The couples married Monday can receive all the state and federal benefits of marriage, giving them benefits and protections including being allowed to file tax returns jointly.

- AP

Tags us gay rights

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...