Several gay couples in New Jersey have organised to gather late Sunday to wed in ceremonies shortly after midnight, after judges ruled earlier this week that banning same-sex couples from marrying broke the state’s constitution.
“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 harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative,” wrote Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in the decision on Thursday.
This came after New Jersey Judge Mary Jacobson last month ruled that because the US federal government now recognises same-sex marriage, the state government in New Jersey would violate its constitution by not doing so. She said same-sex marriages should be allowed to take place this month.
Gay and lesbian couples in New Jersey have now planned last-minute weddings, as they are set to be recognised from 12:01 on Monday.
Couples have so far reached out to florists, photographers, catering firms, banquet halls and other wedding-related businesses to find out what was available on short notice.
Justin Jordan, a photographer who shoots a number of weddings in southern New Jersey, said he had heard from “numerous couples” since Friday.
He said: “Many people have been waiting anxiously for the chance to get married, and now that they have the chance to do it, they’re jumping at the opportunity.”
The town of Astbury Park began issuing marriage licences on Thursday in compliance with Judge Jacobson’s order.