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US: New Jersey mayor prepares to marry first same-sex couple after judge’s equal marriage ruling

Joseph McCormick September 30, 2013
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The mayor of a town in the US state of New Jersey who was one of the first to perform a civil union ceremony back in 2007, said he has plans to marry of the the same couples on 21 October after a judge’s ruling that same-sex marriage be made legal, comes into force.

Judge Mary Jacobson on Friday 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.

The Governor of the state, Chris Christie, has since said he plans to appeal against the ruling.

Democratic Mayor of Lambertville, David DelVeccio, seems undetterred by Christie’s intention to appeal, however, and said he intends to perform the state’s first legal equal marriage ceremony between Beth Asaro and Joanne Schailey, at midnight three weeks from today.

There is currently a risk that, when Governor Christie’s administration takes the case to a higher court, it will result in a stay being put on the issue of marriage licences to same-sex couples.

“This is just a continuation of the first civil union,” DelVecchio, 56, said today in an interview. “If a stay is not granted on the 21st, we’re going to move forward with this.”

The US Supreme Court in June struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and ruled that civil unions do not provide the same benefits as marriage.

Christie in June said the opposite, and that the strike-down of DOMA “was wrong”.

Back in February, Democrats in the New Jersey legislature said they would attempt to override Governor Chris Christie’s equal marriage veto from last year, and have now agreed to put the question of marriage equality to voters in November, if they cannot override it.

Alongside Pennsylvania, New Jersey was the only north east state where same-sex marriage is not legal.





More: Americas, Chris Christie, Civil partnerships, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, New Jersey, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, US, wedding

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