(TRENTON, N.J.) -- As of 12:01 a.m. (ET) Monday, same-sex couples in New Jersey began getting married. New Jersey joined 13 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay and lesbian nuptials after the New Jersey Supreme Court denied Republican Governor Chris Christie's request to stay a lower court order permitting homosexuals to marry.
The ruling stemmed from State Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson's decision last month that same-sex couples were being denied equal rights in New Jersey after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June.
Christie's contention is that voters should decide the issue, not the courts. His opinion is shared by conservative-leaning groups, including the New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage and the National Organization for Marriage.
Meanwhile, municipalities in New Jersey opened up their clerks' offices over the weekend so that couples could start applying for their marriage licenses.
In Jersey City, for instance, the clerk's office opened for three hours Sunday morning.
Janelle Torres, 42, and her partner, were set to be married by Senator Elect and Newark Mayor Cory Booker shortly after midnight Sunday.
"With all the things that go on in the world, how could you not be happy to see two people in love," Torres said.
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