Monday, October 21, 2013

Gay couples make it 'official' in New Jersey!

Many same sex couples in New Jersey made it official at 12 a.m. this morning:

More than 200 supporters, friends of the brides and grooms, and marriage equality activists gathered in the rotunda to see the 12:01 a.m. ceremony, which Booker’s office organized after a trial-court judge ruled last month that same-sex couples could begin marrying in New Jersey on Oct. 21.

And they were officially married by the newly elected Senator Cory Booker, who also had a way of dealing with hecklers:

The ceremony began just after the clock struck midnight, when Booker announced to the crowd, “Alright, ladies and gentleman, it is officially passed midnight. Marriage is equal in New Jersey.” Cheers filled the room when the first couple, Joseph Panessidi and Orville Bell, two 65-year-olds who have been together now for 15 years, joined Booker up front. From the second-floor balcony, cameras flashed down on the soon-to-be-newlyweds as Booker recited the vows required by the state from a black binder.

When Booker reached the line in his script that prompts attendees for objections — to “speak now or forever hold your peace” — a man on the south wall of the rotunda broke the silence. “It is unlawful in the eyes of God,” he yelled, carrying a sign with bible script written on it.

The man continued to shout, but Booker began to talk into the microphone over him. “Well, sir. Well, sir,” said Booker. “Could you please remove him? Please remove that person.” After the heckler had been removed from the room, Booker turned to the audience and said, “Not hearing any substantive and worthy objections, I now will proceed with the vows.”

Photo by Adam Hunger of Reuters.

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