Cory Booker presided over the state of New Jersey’s first same-sex weddings, officiating 10 unions at Newark’s City Hall in his first week as Senator-elect; 7 gay couples were amongst those married by Booker. The ceremonies began around midnight on Monday morning shortly after Governor Chris Christie abandoned the state’s challenge to same-sex marriages. A state supreme court decision upheld a lower court ruling in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage by October 21st, which made way for the historic change in the Garden State. Statements from Chief Justice Stuart Rabner addressed the momentous legal shift in favor of same-sex couples:
“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,” Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said in the court opinion. “The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative.”
The ceremonies were celebrated with white roses, wedding cake and champagne. These weddings were the first Cory Booker has officiated in the state since taking political office in 2006; Booker had previously declined to preside over any unions in the state until the issue of marriage equality had been resolved in favor of all citizens. Booker expressed pride in his decision at the ceremony:
“I made a decision as mayor . . . that I would not marry anybody until I could marry everybody,” Booker said. “I’m so happy I did this, and I did it in the right way.”
Check the footage below to watch the historic occasion as reported by NBC News.