Hundreds had gathered to see Mayor Steven Fulop officiate the marriages of several gay and lesbian couples who can now legally wed in the Garden State thanks to a September court ruling.
“Who’s the official time keeper,” Fulop asked the crowd that had assembled at City Hall to see history made in Jersey City.
Marriages of same-sex couples in New Jersey could not officially begin until Monday, Oct. 21. In cities throughout New Jersey marriages of gay and lesbian couples began at 12:01 a.m.
In Jersey City, after several cell phones in the room struck 12:01 a.m., Fulop performed a mass ceremony as family members, friends, members of the community, and the media looked on. Fulop married approximately 16 people – six gay male couples and two lesbian couples – during the ceremony.
Among those who said their vows were David Gibson Rich Kiamco, who were recently featured in the Reporter.
The couples were able to get married Monday after the New Jersey Supreme Court denied a request by Gov. Christopher Christie to delay a ruling by a lower court that same-sex marriages must begin on Oct. 21. Last month, Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that marriages of same-sex couples must begin on Oct. 21. Her ruling was the first in the nation since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June.
Gove Christie said Monday that he will drop all legal appeals to same sex marriages in the Garden State.
Fulop and Jersey City were not alone in entering the history books. Shortly after midnight, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who was last week elected to the U.S. Senate, also presided the marriages of at least 10 couples in the Newark City Hall Rotunda. – E. Assata Wright