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

| Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Mel Evans, APGov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)
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.

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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.

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

| Monday, October 21, 2013
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)
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.

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

| Sunday, October 20, 2013
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
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.

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

| Sunday, October 20, 2013
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.
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.

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

| Sunday, October 20, 2013
Dan and Mike's wedding.
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.

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

| Sunday, October 20, 2013
Joe Epstein, APDavid Gibson,left, and Rich Kiamco, right, of Jersey City display their marriage license, which they obtained on Friday.
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.

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

| Saturday, October 19, 2013
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.
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.

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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.

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

| Friday, October 18, 2013
City Hall in Jersey City, N.J. is one of several offices statewide to extend hours to accept marriage licenses.
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.

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