New Jersey

New Jersey is the 3rd U.S. state, admitted to the Union on Dec. 18, 1787. Its most populous city is Newark, and the state capitol is located in Trenton.

Marriage Equality: Same-sex marriage became legal in New Jersey on Oct. 21, 2013, after a state Superior Court judge ruled on Sept. 27, 2013, that as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, New Jersey's constitution requires the state to recognize same-sex marriages. On Oct. 18, 2013, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously to uphold the ruling and deny a delay sought by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration. Christie dropped his appeal on Oct. 21, 2013 hours after the law took effect and same-sex couples in New Jersey began to wed. Previously, in 2012, the New Jersey Legislature had passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, but it was vetoed by Christie.

For information on state laws relating to LGBT rights, discrimination, hate crimes and adoption, click here.

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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.

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014
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. [ Read more → ]
Kristina Hill Photography
Original engagement photo of Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere.

Split decision in gay couple’s lawsuit over use of photo in anti-gay mailer

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
DENVER -- A federal judge has dismissed part of a lawsuit filed by a gay New Jersey couple whose engagement photo was used in campaign attack mailers in Colorado. [ Read more → ]
Chris Christie

Christie vetoes bill allowing new birth certificates for transgender people without surgery

Monday, January 13, 2014
TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey governor Chris Christie on Monday vetoed a bill that would have allowed transgender citizens to obtain a new birth certificate to reflect their gender identity without surgical requirements. [ Read more → ]
Don Guardian

Down-on-its-luck Atlantic City swears in openly gay Republican mayor

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
What do you call a gay Republican who obsesses about street sweepers, frets that the city's business isn't conducted in enough languages and toys with the idea of giving free land to the poor to get it back on the tax rolls? As of Wednesday in Atlantic City, it's Mr. Mayor. [ Read more → ]
N.J. state capitol in Trenton.

N.J. senate approves transgender birth certificate bill

Monday, December 23, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey state Senate has approved a bill that would require the state Health Department to issue a new birth certificate for people who have completed the clinical process of altering their gender. [ Read more → ]
Rich Schultz, APBeth Asaro and Joanne Schailey exchange vows as Mayor David DelVecchio officiates in the first same-sex marriage in Lambertville, N.J. history at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 in Lambertville, N.J. Asaro and Schailey hold the distinction of being the first couple to enter into a civil union in the state, when that law took effect in 2007

N.J. lawmakers end legislative push for same-sex marriage law

Monday, December 16, 2013
With same-sex marriage already legal in New Jersey, state lawmakers have stopped their push to codify the details through a bill, saying it is not urgent to address whether religious-affiliated organizations should be exempt. [ Read more → ]
N.J. state capitol in Trenton.

N.J. senate panel approves transgender birth certificate bill

Friday, December 13, 2013
A New Jersey state Senate panel on Thursday approved a bill that would require the state Health Department to issue a new birth certificate for people who have completed the clinical process of altering their gender [ Read more → ]
Michael Griffin (right) and Vincent Giannetto.

Catholic school suffers sharp backlash over firing of gay teacher

Friday, December 13, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Administrators at a Roman Catholic high school suffered a sharp and swift backlash this week after firing a well-liked teacher who sought to marry his same-sex partner. [ Read more → ]
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.

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

Tuesday, December 10, 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. [ Read more → ]
dayna-morales

Some donations to waitress who said she received anti-gay note being refunded

Saturday, December 7, 2013
NEW YORK -- The New Jersey waitress who said she was stiffed on a tip because she is gay is now returning donations sent to her by people across the country. [ Read more → ]
Dayna Morales

Friends, former co-workers say server who was ‘stiffed’ tip has a history of lies

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. -- The waitress now accused of fabricating a story of being left a homophobic note in lieu of a tip has a reputation for lying, according to former colleagues and friends. [ Read more → ]
Dayna Morales

Couple says gay server’s claim they left anti-gay note instead of tip is ‘a scam’

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. -- A New Jersey couple has come forward to dispute a story that made national headlines this month when a gay server claimed she was left a note criticizing her "lifestyle" instead of a tip. [ Read more → ]
Dayna Morales

Server who received anti-gay note to donate tips to wounded veterans

Monday, November 18, 2013
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. -- The New Jersey restaurant server and former Marine who was left a note condemning her lesbian "lifestyle" instead of a tip, has been receiving extra tips for days since her story broke, and says she plans to donate them to the Wounded Warrior Project. [ Read more → ]
Dayna Morales

Diners refuse tip for N.J. waitress, former Marine due to her lesbian ‘lifestyle’

Friday, November 15, 2013
BRIDEWATER, N.J. -- A New Jersey waitress and former Marine says she was “offended” after a customer left an anti-gay note on a check in place of a tip because she is a lesbian. [ Read more → ]
Cory Booker

Cory Booker goes to Washington a celebrity and senator

Sunday, November 10, 2013
WASHINGTON -- When the U.S. Senate passed a bill to ban job discrimination against gay and transgender people, its newest member's first impulse was to yell with joy. Then he remembered where he was. [ Read more → ]
File

Federal judge upholds N.J. ban on gay conversion therapy

Friday, November 8, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. -- A federal judge on Friday upheld a New Jersey law barring therapists from trying to turn gay youth straight. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)

Christie defeats Buono, re-elected governor of New Jersey

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
ASBURY PARK, N.J. -- Gov. Chris Christie was re-elected with ease Tuesday, demonstrating the kind of broad, bipartisan appeal that will serve as his opening argument should he seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. [ Read more → ]
File

Parents sue N.J. over law banning gay conversion therapy on minors

Monday, November 4, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey's law banning so-called gay conversion therapy is facing another court challenge, this time from a couple who claim their constitutional rights are being violated because the law prevents them from seeking treatment for their 15-year-old son. [ Read more → ]
Christie

What’s ahead for N.J. Gov. Chris Christie if re-elected?

Sunday, November 3, 2013
HARRISON, N.J. -- A second term all but assured, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is casting himself as an inclusive Republican who transcends political lines and a pragmatic leader whose results-oriented approach offers valuable lessons for dysfunctional party leaders in Washington. [ Read more → ]
victory-fund-10-races

Victory Fund announces ‘Ten Races to Watch’ featuring LGBT candidates

Friday, October 25, 2013
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund has announced its annual “Races to Watch” list featuring openly LGBT candidates, naming 10 candidates involved in groundbreaking runs for political office this year. Victory has endorsed a total of 85 out candidates for 2013, an all-time high for an odd numbered year. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), left, and Ken Cuccinelli on Va.

In Va. and N.J., a contrasting tale of two Republican parties

Thursday, October 24, 2013
FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- This fall's races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey offer a revealing window into the fight for the future of the Republican Party. [ Read more → ]
Pedro Garcia

N.J. man convicted of killing, dismembering live-in boyfriend

Thursday, October 24, 2013
HACKENSACK, N.J. — A New Jersey man faces up to life in prison after being convicted of killing and dismembering another man whom authorities say was his live-in boyfriend. [ Read more → ]
Mel Evans, APGov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)

Chris Christie’s decision to stop fighting marriage equality in N.J. stirs GOP

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Gov. Chris Christie's decision to stop fighting gay marriage in New Jersey was pragmatic - same sex weddings had already begun and a court warned that the state would have little chance of overturning them. But the move also reflects Christie's bid to cast himself as leader of a welcoming GOP as he seeks re-election and ponders a White House bid. [ Read more → ]
New-Jersey

N.J. advocates considering next steps on marriage equality

Monday, October 21, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- Advocates for same-sex marriage in New Jersey are weighing whether they will push for a law codifying gay nuptials now that court action has legalized them. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)

BREAKING: N.J. governor Chris Christie drops gay marriage appeal

Monday, October 21, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- Gov. Chris Christie dropped his legal challenge to same-sex marriages on Monday, removing the possibility that the vows of couples who began getting married hours earlier could be undone by a court. [ Read more → ]
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