News (USA)

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

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.

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