Elections

Westfield's Mayoral Candidates React to Court’s Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

WESTFIELD, NJ — On Oct. 18, New Jersey’s highest court ruled unanimously to uphold the lower-court’s order that same-sex weddings in New Jersey must be allowed starting Oct. 21. Mayor Andy Skibitsky, who is running for re-election, and Democratic Mayoral Candidate and current Councilman Dave Haas spoke to The Alternative Press on the subject.

“This is a historic day for New Jersey,” said Skibitsky. “Given our state's position as a trail blazer for civil rights, I am not at all surprised by the Supreme Court's unanimous decision on same-sex marriage. I have performed civil unions, and I look forward to being able to perform a marriage ceremony for all New Jersey couples.”

Haas said he believes New Jersey has been behind the times, and that the law is finally catching up with how the majority of people in New Jersey actually feel about same-sex marriage.

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“I’m happy with the decision,” he said. And if elected mayor, Haas said he would love to officiate a same-sex wedding.

“I think marriage between two people is a special occasion. Whether they’re straight or gay, to be part of that ceremony where two people are joining each other would be a special thing,” he said.

On Oct. 18, before the office closed for the weekend, the Westfield Regional Health Department was not yet issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The reasons, one representative said, was that the state had not given them the go-ahead, and that they did not have the updated forms for same-sex couples to fill out.

If the health department begins to issue same-sex marriage licenses when it reopens on Monday, gay couples who wish to marry the first day that they legally can in Westfield will have to get the usual 72-hour waiting period waived by a judge in order to do so.

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