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New Jersey News

Explainer: Gay Marriage in New Jersey

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Confused about who can get married in New Jersey when? We break it down for you - with the assistance of Hayley Gorenberg, deputy director at Lambda Legal.

As Gorenberg points out, many couples want to get married as soon as possible. “Because what this means to them is, I mean, everything from the mundane, every day, your dental insurance being covered through your spouse’s plan … to things that are life altering events being provided for or not,” she said.

When can gay couples begin to get married in New Jersey?

12:01 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 21.

Can I just show up at midnight and get married?

No — unless you're legally married somewhere else. New Jersey has a 72-hour waiting period and, as State Registrar Vincent Arrisi made very clear Friday evening, it's not waived for gay couples. So first you need a license. Then, 72 hours later, you can get married.

However, if you're already married in a state that where same-sex marriage is legal, like New York or Connecticut, Gorenberg said you don't need the waiting period. You can just get in line (as long as you bring a certified copy of your current marriage license).

OK. How do I get a NJ marriage license?

If both of you are 18 and not married or civil unioned to someone else,  just print out and complete this application form - but don't sign it! Plus, you'll need ID, your Social Security number, proof of your residency (a drivers license is fine), an adult witness and $28.

Does New Jersey have gay marriage for good now?

Well - probably, but not definitely. The State Supreme Court is hearing Gov. Chris Christie's appeal in January. They could certainly decide that New Jersey does not need to provide marriage equality after all. However, since the decision rejecting Christie's appeal for a stay was unanimous and said things like, "same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today," it's likely that the court will rule in favor of marriage. 


To hear Gorenberg's interview with Amy Eddings, click the audio player.