Same-Sex Marriage Applications Boost License Requests in South Orange


SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Since Village President Alex Torpey officiated at the village's first same-sex marriage, 20 to 25 same-sex marriage applications have been filed in South Orange.

“It's been an exciting time in our municipal offices meeting so many folks who have been wanting to get married for so long (some who have in other states) and now finally can,” said Torpey who officiates at the ceremonies, welcomes the couples and signs off on the paperwork.

Torpey said the wedding ceremonies usually take place at Village Hall or the conference room at the temporary offices. However, some couples want to have the ceremony at their homes, which according to Torpey is both “possible and fun.”  

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According to Torpey, only a small number of couples had applied for civil unions, which were the only option prior to the legalization of same-sex marraige.

“The only difference before was that the paperwork for gay couples was a civil union, which doesn't come with the same benefits and rights that a marriage does," Torpey said. "But now it's exactly the same.” 

Twelve marriages have been officially booked so far since the legalization of same-sex marriages.  

In New Jersey, the procedure to receive a marriage license is to fill out an application, come in with a witness for the ceremony, fill out the paperwork, and then pick up the certified copy All couples can pick up applications for marriage at Village offices, 76 South Orange Ave., on the third floor in the clerk's office. 

Individuals with questions can call 973-378-7715 or email

The reporter is a student participating in hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.

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