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Wedding planning on a deadline for NJ gay couples

Published 5:52pm Saturday, October 19, 2013

Couples who have dreamed for years, even decades, of being able to legally wed in New Jersey are getting their wish after the state Supreme Court on Friday refused to delay a lower-court order for the state to recognize same-sex marriages starting Monday.

Because of the unexpected decision, same-sex couples who want to be the first to get married in New Jersey are in a scramble to plan ceremonies.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker and David DelVecchio, mayor of the gay-friendly community of Lambertville, both plan to lead ceremonies for gay couples at 12:01 a.m. Monday. A handful of towns, including Hoboken and Collingswood, are opening offices Saturday to accept applications for marriage licenses from same-sex couples.

Amy Quinn and Heather Jensen applied for a marriage license at 8 a.m. Friday in Asbury Park, the town where they live and where an influx of gay couples during the last decade has been a major part of the area’s revival. Their plan was to be married the second they were eligible to do so.

But by Friday afternoon, Quinn said she didn’t know precisely when that would be, or where. She’s spending the weekend doing wedding planning on the fly.

“There was another couple that got their license today … they got a photographer,” said Quinn, a member of the Asbury Park City Council. “I’ve got to step up, right?”

She said she hadn’t done much planning largely because she suspected the state’s top court would grant the request of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to delay gay marriages while it considered a broader case.

But the court ruled Friday afternoon that it did not think the state’s arguments were likely to prevail in the end and that delaying the lower court’s order would hurt couples who would not be eligible for federal benefits until they can be married legally in New Jersey.


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