New Jersey

Nearly 3,000 gay couples say ‘I do’ in N.J. in first 6 months of marriage equality

Mel Evans, AP
Newark Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker, right, shares a laugh as he officiates the first same-sex marriage for Joesph Panessidi, center right, 65, and Orville Bell, 65, in Newark City hall just after midnight Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. Staff Reports

Mel Evans, APNewark Mayor and Senator-elect Cory Booker, right, shares a laugh as he officiates the first same-sex marriage for Joesph Panessidi, center right, 65, and Orville Bell, 65, in Newark City hall just after midnight Monday, Oct. 21, 2013.

Mel Evans, AP
Then-Newark Mayor (now U.S. Sen.) Cory Booker, right, officiates the wedding ceremony of Joesph Panessidi and Orville Bell on Oct. 21, 2013.

Through the end of March, a total of 2,955 same-sex couples have wed in New Jersey since Oct. 21, when marriage equality began under the orders of a state judge, reports the New Jersey Star Ledger.

John Mikytuck, interim director at Garden State Equality, a statewide LGBT advocacy organization, said the numbers are in line with the population, considering about 4 percent of New Jersey’s 8.8 million residents identify as being gay.

“If you break (the numbers) down, it’s about 500 marriages a month,” Mikytuck said. “That means there are 150 marriages every weekend. That’s a heck of a lot of ceremonies.”

Monmouth County — home to Asbury Park, which has one of the state’s largest gay populations — was the site of the most same-sex weddings: 324. Camden was second at 298, followed by Essex with 258. Salem County had fewest at 10.

Full story at NewJersey.com

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