Chris Christie drops gay marriage appeal

Mon. October 21, 2013 10:53 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Trenton, MJ - Hours after joyous gay couples began marrying on Monday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie dropped his appeal to a ruling legalizing gay marriage in the state.

"At long last, the freedom to marry is now permanently law of the land in New Jersey," Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said in an emailed statement. "The marriages of loving, committed couples throughout the Garden State, combined with Governor Christie's withdrawal of his appeal, is joyous news to New Jerseyans, both gay and non-gay. The momentum continues to build nationwide and we are working hard to deliver victories in Hawaii, Illinois and New Mexico in 2013."

New Jersey is the 14th state to legalize marriage equality. Gay couples can also marry in the District of Columbia.

Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled on September 27 that New Jersey must begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples as of October 21.

Christie, a Republican, appealed the order to the state Supreme Court and asked Jacobson to stay her decision until the matter is resolved. Jacobson denied the request, stating that the state was unlikely to win its appeal.

"Granting a stay would simply allow the state to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest," Jacobson wrote.

The New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal but unanimously denied the state's request for a stay on Friday.

Mayors of several cities, including Newark and Jersey City, began marrying gay and lesbian couples at the stroke of midnight on Monday.

(Related : Cory Booker marries gay couples as marriage equality arrives in New Jersey.)

Christie had reiterated his opposition to gay nuptials throughout his reelection campaign.

(Related: Chris Christie on kids coming out gay: I would hug them, tell them they cannot marry.)

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine