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More than 700 same-sex couples marry in N.J. in past seven weeks

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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Mel Evans, APNewark Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker, right, officiates the ceremony for the same-sex marriage of Liz Salerno, left, 38, and Gabriela Celeiro, 34, center, at Newark City Hall just after midnight Monday, Oct. 21, 2013.

Mel Evans, AP
Then-Newark Mayor and current U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, right, officiates the ceremony for the same-sex marriage of Liz Salerno, left, 38, and Gabriela Celeiro, 34, center, at Newark City Hall just after midnight Monday, Oct. 21, 2013.

TRENTON, N.J. — More than 700 same-sex couples have married or renewed their vows in New Jersey since the state allowed gay nuptials.

Same-sex marriage became legal Oct. 21. As of Dec. 6 – about seven weeks later – town registrars had informed the state of 679 new marriages and 30 couples married legally out-of-state renewing their vows, the state Health Department said.

Of the new marriages, 461 of the couples already had civil unions or domestic partnerships in New Jersey.

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There are lags in reporting the data, so the state’s tally does not include all same-sex marriages.

Statistics for opposite-sex marriage during the same period were not immediately available. But the state said there were about 44,000 ceremonies in 2012. November 2012 was one of the slowest months of that year for weddings and there were nearly 3,000.

The state’s first same-sex marriages occurred just days after the state Supreme Court refused to halt implementation of a lower court order that found the state must allow gay couples to marry.

The same day the weddings began, Gov. Chris Christie announced he would stop the state’s legal battle opposing same-sex marriage.

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