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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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

Gay couples wed as N.J. becomes 14th state to legalize same-sex marriage

Sunday, October 20, 2013
LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. -- Gay couples exchanged vows in early morning ceremonies in several New Jersey communities Monday as the state began recognizing their marriages at 12:01 a.m., becoming the 14th state to do so. [ Read more → ]
Joe Epstein, APKaren Nicholson-McFadden,left, and Marcye Nicholson-McFadden,center, of Aberdeen, listen as their son Kasey, 14 and their daughter Maya, 10, speak to a crowd of about 150 people gathered on the lawn in front of Garden State Equality Friday Oct. 18, 2013, in Montclair, N.J.

Some N.J. gay couples plan weddings, others still denied marriage licenses

Sunday, October 20, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. — Pioneering couples across New Jersey prepared Sunday night to become the first in the state to be legally married to their same-sex partners. [ Read more → ]
Dan and Mike's wedding.

Finally, the day for those who have been married in their hearts a very long time

Sunday, October 20, 2013
Weddings come in a lot of flavors. Many are planned, sometimes long before a potential mate is even in the picture. Some come about at the last minute. Some of the opposite sex variety come about because improper birth control was used and the couple “has to.” Then there are some special ones that occur when marriage equality is finally attained: the weddings of people who have been married in their hearts for a very long time, but only now can be legally and socially recognized. These kind of weddings will take place in New Jersey this week. Long term couples becoming legally, publicly married and acknowledged. It is about time. [ Read more → ]
Joe Epstein, APDavid Gibson,left, and Rich Kiamco, right, of Jersey City display their marriage license, which they obtained on Friday.

N.J. same-sex couples prepare to wed just after midnight tonight

Sunday, October 20, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- Several gay couples in New Jersey are expected to gather late Sunday to wed in ceremonies to be held shortly after midnight after judges said they would not hold up the first gay marriages in the state. [ Read more → ]
April Saul, Philadelphia Inquirer/APFrom left: Leigh Nachod (only hands showing), Megan Nachod, Ed Cameron, Dennis Gaspari, Renai Hall and Rose Papa cheer after affirming their identity as they applied for same sex marriage licenses at the Cherry Hill, NJ  Municipal Building late Friday afternoon.

Wedding planning frenzy begins as N.J. gay couples prepare to marry

Saturday, October 19, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- 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. [ Read more → ]

New Jersey, neighboring Pennsylvania spotlight same-sex marriage efforts

Saturday, October 19, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania and New Jersey are on tracks that could lead to the Northeast being the first full region in the country to legalize same-sex marriage -- but the routes are hardly parallel and the horsepower anything but equal. [ Read more → ]
City Hall in Jersey City, N.J. is one of several offices statewide to extend hours to accept marriage licenses.

Several N.J. cities extend hours to accept marriage license applications

Friday, October 18, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. -- City halls in several New Jersey cities and towns are adding extra office hours over the weekend to accept marriage license applications now that same-sex marriage has been given the green light by the state's highest court. [ Read more → ]
Julio Cortez, APNewark Mayor Cory Booker talks to supporters during an election night victory party after winning a special election for the U.S. Senate, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013.

U.S. Senator-elect Cory Booker to officiate N.J. gay weddings

Friday, October 18, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. — U.S. Sen.-elect Cory Booker says he will officiate at weddings of both gay and heterosexual couples as the mayor of Newark now that New Jersey is allowing same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)

Christie: N.J. will comply with court order allowing same-sex marriages to begin

Friday, October 18, 2013
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he disagrees with it, but he will comply with a state Supreme Court ruling that makes same-sex marriage legal in the state starting Monday. [ Read more → ]

N.J. becomes #14 – State Supreme Court says gay weddings can begin Monday

Friday, October 18, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- Same-sex marriages can begin within days in New Jersey after the state's highest court ruled unanimously Friday to uphold an order that they must start Monday and to deny a delay that had been sought by Gov. Chris Christie's administration. [ Read more → ]

N.J. towns accept marriage applications, prepare for same-sex weddings

Friday, October 18, 2013
Several New Jersey towns were accepting applications for marriage licenses so gay couples can tie the knot starting Monday - unless the state Supreme Court blocks the nuptials before then. [ Read more → ]

N.J. town begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Thursday, October 17, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. — At least one New Jersey town began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples Thursday to comply with a court order to allow same-sex marriages starting Monday. [ Read more → ]

Democrat, longtime LGBT ally Cory Booker wins U.S. Senate election in N.J.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. -- Newark Mayor Cory Booker won a special election Wednesday to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate, giving the rising Democratic star a bigger political stage after a race against conservative Steve Lonegan, a former small-town mayor. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)

Christie says he would love his gay child, but not support that child’s right to marry

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
New Jersey governor Chris Christie said Tuesday that if one of his children came out as gay, he would “grab them and hug them and tell them I love them," but that "Dad believes that marriage is between one man and one woman." [ Read more → ]

N.J. gay couples file court brief, argue against delay in marriage ruling

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Gay couples will be harmed if the New Jersey Supreme Court delays a lower court's ruling that same-sex marriage be legalized starting next week, a gay rights group said in a court filing Tuesday. [ Read more → ]
Cory Booker (left) and Steve Lonegan

Senate candidate fires adviser after rant about Cory Booker’s sexuality

Sunday, October 13, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan on Friday fired a campaign adviser who gave a profane interview bashing Democratic opponent Cory Booker and questioning his sexuality. [ Read more → ]

Advocates hopeful N.J. will enact marriage equality law

Saturday, October 12, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. — Gay rights advocates are glad to see the New Jersey state Supreme Court is taking up the question of same-sex marriage, partly because they think it could increase pressure on lawmakers to legalize it first. [ Read more → ]

N.J. Supreme Court agrees to hear same-sex marriage case

Friday, October 11, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- The state's highest court on Friday agreed to hear a case on whether same-sex marriage should be legal in New Jersey, and whether same-sex weddings can be performed while it decides. [ Read more → ]
Judge Mary C. Jacobson

Christie administration: One judge can’t force us to recognize gay marriage

Friday, October 11, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- A single judge should not be able to force New Jersey to recognize gay marriage, Gov. Chris Christie's administration said in a court filing Friday. [ Read more → ]
Chris Christie

Christie wants emergency appeal of N.J. same-sex marriage ruling

Thursday, October 10, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration is asking a court to consider an emergency appeal in its effort to delay the start of same-sex marriages in the state. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)

Judge refuses to delay start of same-sex marriage in New Jersey

Thursday, October 10, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- A state judge refused Thursday to delay the start of same-sex marriage in New Jersey until a legal appeal can be settled, denying efforts by Gov. Chris Christie's administration to put off gay weddings. [ Read more → ]
Marko Georgiev, The Record of Bergen County/AP (Pool)New Jersey gubernatorial candidates, Republican Gov. Chris Christie, right, and Democrat State Sen. Barbara Buono meet in a  debate at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013.

Buono to Christie on gay marriage: ‘My daughter is not a political agenda’

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie squared off against Democratic challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono in a televised debate Tuesday evening, demonstrating for voters the stark difference of the candidates' positions on same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)

Christie administration makes final case to delay same-sex marriages

Monday, October 7, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- The Christie administration on Monday made its final case for why a judge should put on hold a ruling that would legalize gay marriage effective Oct. 21. [ Read more → ]
New Jersey

N.J. advocates ask judge not to delay implementation of gay marriage ruling

Friday, October 4, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. -- Gay rights advocates on Friday asked a New Jersey judge to proceed with implementation of her order that the state start allowing same-sex marriages this month, saying the state failed to show irreparable harm if the nuptials take place. [ Read more → ]

N.J. asks for stay in same-sex marriage ruling, warns of ‘irreparable harm’

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration on Tuesday asked a judge to delay implementation of her order that the state allow gay marriage until an appeal can be decided, saying the state will suffer "irreparable harm" if same-sex marriages are allowed without its highest court weighing in. [ Read more → ]
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