USA, New Jersey: Marriage Equality Updates

Written by scott on October 20th, 2013

New Jersey mapWith same-sex weddings ready to start tomorrow in New Jersey, there is a lot going on.

In Asbury Park, marriage applications for same-sex couples were slowed by computer issues. reports:

Asbury Park residents who want to get applications for their same-sex marriage ceremonies aren’t rushing to City Hall this morning, possibly because of computer and phone problems. City Clerk Kiki Tomek opened her office at 10 a.m. today for same-sex couples who want to apply for their marriage license, but she was met with downed computer and phone lines. In the first half hour, five couples showed up seeking applications. But because they were from out of town — Manalapan, Ocean Township, Neptune City, Bradley Beach and Neptune Township — she had to turn them away. Couples must obtain license applications from the town in which they live and they must be accompanied by a witness.

Many couples in New Jersey are rushing to make their wedding plans, and activists want to help them waive the usual 3 day waiting period.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Activists are still working to line up judges who could waive the three-day waiting period for same-sex couples who want to exchange vows first thing Monday, when gay marriage will become legal in New Jersey. Garden State Equality executive director Troy Stevenson said Saturday that the effort to get couples hitched without the waiting period was a “work in progress.” Under state law, couples must normally wait 72 hours after applying for a marriage license before they can tie the knot. Stevenson didn’t have specific details on how many judges would be available to consider couples’ waivers this weekend. But he says many marriages will be held across the state as soon as possible once the new policy takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Openly gay former Governor Jim McGreevey is amazed at the whole thing.

The Advocate reports:

“Most of us knew domestic partnerships at best were a stated aspiration as opposed to a clear matter of equity,” he told Livio. “To think how far we come in such a short stead, it’s remarkable. To envision in my lifetime an African American president and gay marriage is to really redefine that a sense of equity in America is possible.” No word, though, on whether McGreevy and his longtime partner, would be taking the plunge themselves.

Also New Jersey, wedding vendors are looking to expand a business now that they can plan legal weddings for same-sex couples. reports:

Luigi Ficarra of New World Catering in Maplewood is expecting to be busy in the kitchen next month, cooking dishes for same-sex wedding receptions. Ficarra’s phone started ringing after the state Supreme Court refused to issue a stay of a lower court ruling allowing gay couples to begin getting married on Monday. He said he has received 15 calls from Jerseyans who are planning their nuptials between Thanksgiving and December.

Over in Morristown, The Church of Redeemer is preparing for same-sex weddings as well.

The Morristown Green reports:

Since 1991 the Church of the Redeemer, at 36 South St., Morristown, has been offering Commitment Services, and beginning in 2007, Civil Unions, for its gay and lesbian couples. That’s all about to change. “We anticipate that in the very near future, we will finally be able to say to our gay and lesbian members, “The State of New Jersey has finally caught up with Redeemer,” said the Rev. Cynthia Black, rector of Church of the Redeemer in Morristown. “For the past 22 years, this church has publicly affirmed that all committed and loving couples are equal in the eyes of God.”

Should same-sex couples get married New Jersey, even though Supreme Court still hasn’t officially ruled on the issue?

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow thinks so:

Maddow recalled when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the city would begin marrying same-sex couples in 2004, it led to the marriage equality the state of California has today. “While marriage rights are still being adjudicated,” Maddow said, “just get married. It has an effect.” Maddow argued that, historically, actions like these have “strapped a turbo-charge” to marriage equality.

There are many, many happy couples in New Jersey this weekend.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Jersey.


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