Same-sex marriages to start in New Jersey on Monday


A gay activist prepares to cut a wedding cake in front of the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon on January 8, 2010, after the approval at first reading a bill to legalize same sex marriages less than 30 years after the country revoked its ban on homosexuality. Lawmakers rejected proposals to allow gay couples to adopt, but otherwise the bill passed with little public controversy in what has traditionally been one of Europe's most socially conservative countries.



Wedding bells will start ringing for same-sex couples in New Jersey after the state Supreme Court rejected the governor's attempt to block the unions.

Superior Court judge Mary C. Jacobson ruled that the state will start granting same-sex wedding licenses starting on Monday.

Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, favors civil unions and tried to delay the granting of marriage licenses ordered by a separate court ruling last month.

In that decision, the court said New Jersey must allow same-sex couples to marry in order to not violate the rights guaranteed by the US Supreme Court in June. 

The state appealed that decision and a hearing is scheduled for January.

The state Supreme Court's ruling on Friday hinted that the hearing is not likely to go in the governor's favor.

"The state has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: Same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today," the court ruled.

"The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative."

More from GlobalPost: Top French court rules mayors cannot block gay marriage

New Jersey now joins the ranks of more than a dozen states, and the District of Columbia, that recognize same-sex marriages.

"The long wait in New Jersey is finally over — the door is open for love, commitment and equality under the law! This is a huge victory for New Jersey's same-sex couples and their families," Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal, which filed a brief on behalf of six same-sex couples, told NBC News.

Some of those early wedding ceremonies may be performed by newly-elected New Jersey Senator Cory Booker before he heads off to Washington.

Booker is expected to marry several same-sex couples at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Oct. 21, according to BuzzFeed.