NJ Gov. Christie drops gay marriage appeal - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

NJ Gov. Christie drops gay marriage appeal

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Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey

Same-sex weddings have begun in New Jersey, which has become the 14th state to recognize nuptials between gay partners. Weddings were held in several cities and towns across the state in the first minutes of Monday morning, as soon as a court order requiring the state to recognize gay marriage went into effect.

Later in the morning, Gov. Chris Christie New Jersey Gov. ordered his administration to withdraw an appeal of a state Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriages.

"Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law," the Christie administration said in a statement. "The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his Administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court."

The Republican governor, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, had been asking the state's top court to overturn that ruling, and not to force the state to recognize same-sex marriage until the appeal was resolved.

The court agreed to hear the overall case in January but announced Friday it would not delay the start of the marriages, in part because it said the state is not likely to prevail in its arguments next year.

In Newark, Mayor and U.S. Sen.-elect Cory Booker choked up as he led the ceremony for seven gay couples, telling the audience, "This is very beautiful." The weddings there and elsewhere went ahead after the state Supreme Court on Friday denied Gov. Chris Christie's request to delay the date when a lower court mandated gay marriage be legalized.

Copyright 2013 MyFoxNY/The Associated Press

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