October 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM
WESTFIELD, NJ — About hour after the Westfield registrar’s office opened on Oct. 21, the first same-sex couple arrived around 9:30 a.m. to request a marriage license. A second couple came in about 10 minutes later. Acting as each other’s witnesses, according to the reigstrar's office, they became the first gay couples allowed to apply for marriage licenses in Westfield on the first day that same-sex marriages could legally be performed in New Jersey.
"They were very excited," said Loray Kozar, Westfield registrar.
A third couple arrived later that morning, but would have to come back—they didn’t bring a witness. (The office recommends all couples coming in for a marriage license book an appointment so that they can tell them what they will need ahead of time.)
Alhough same-sex couples have been getting married in New Jersey since midnight, that was impossible in Westfield because the registrar’s office did not receive the go-ahead or the necessary updated forms from the state until about 6 p.m. on Friday. (The office is closed over the weekend.) To read more about that, click here.
It’s also unlikely that any same-sex couples will marry in Westfield on Oct. 21—there’s a 72-hour waiting period for licenses that can only be waived by a superior court judge. The exception, the office explained, is when the couple has already been married in another state, in which case they could get married here the same day they apply for the New Jersey license.
Earlier on Oct. 21, Gov. Chris Christie announced that he was dropping his appeal of the case that made same-sex marriage legal in New Jersey, which means that any uncertainty same-sex couples may have felt about their weddings is alleviated—their marriages are now certainly legal.
To find out what Westfield’s mayoral candidates had to say about the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriages, click here.