SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The township plans to open its municipal offices at midnight as Sunday turns into Monday to enable Village President Alex Torpey to perform weddings for same-sex couples. The Sept. 27 ruling by Judge Mary C. Jacobson gave same-sex partners in New Jersey have the right to marry, and South Orange will begin this at midnight.
Although South Orange’s municipal offices have moved out of Village Hall at 101 South Orange Ave. for the building’s renovation, village officials wanted to perform these marriages in the place where the first domestic partnership took place in New Jersey in 2004, and will re-open Village Hall for this celebration.
Under state law, anyone wishing to be married must file a marriage license application at least 72 hours in advance of the ceremony. Any couples with the appropriate state-required paperwork will be able to be legally married Monday morning. Torpey has indicated that he will make himself available in the coming weeks to accommodate any same-sex couples that wish to have marriages performed.
“Seventy-four percent of millennials (people born around/after 1981) support marriage for same-sex couples, so it’s easy to tell where this law is headed,” said Torpey. “We know that separate but equal isn’t constitutional, and it’s been disheartening to have to perform ‘civil unions’ instead of marriages over the past 2 ½ years as Village President. Hopefully this step forward in New Jersey will help push this cause further nationally and we can finally get to a point where the government isn’t allowed to tell couples they can’t get married based on the moral objections of only a few. It’s a momentous occasion, and I hope any and all interested will come out to celebrate the occasion with us.”
The New Jersey Supreme Court has been asked by Gov. Chris Christie to stay Judge Jacobson’s ruling. If the Supreme Court issues a stay prior to Oct. 21, the township may follow that ruling.