By Elizabeth Hur, Dan Wing
LAMBERTVILLE, N.J (CBS) – A ruling by New Jersey’s State Supreme Court on Friday has paved the way for same-sex couples to finally get married, starting on Monday.
For many couples, this has been a long time coming, and they wasted little time getting things in order this weekend to hold ceremonies as soon as possible.
Many towns began handing out applications even before Friday’s ruling by the high court, and Saturday, local municipalities were kept busy by couples looking for marriage license applications.
While many gay weddings will take place during the day on Monday, some couples couldn’t wait that long, and have ceremonies planned to begin shortly after midnight, like in Lambertville, New Jersey, where Mayor David DelVecchio will marry longtime couple Joanne Schalley and Beth Asaro, who have been together since 1986.
“This is an issue that five years after it occurs, people will say ‘can you believe there was a fuss over it’?” DelVecchio said.
Beth and Joanne had waited 27 years to make their “I do’s” legal, but had just two days to make it happen.
“(Beth) put out a Facebook thing to all our friends,” Joanne said.
The post read “if you are my friend on Facebook then you are invited.” This was last Friday after the State Supreme Court denied a motion to put same-sex marriages on hold, making Monday the first day that same-sex marriages are legal in New Jersey.
“It’s like winning a Super Bowl, really,” Joanne said.
The Garden State is now the 14th in the country to allow same-sex weddings, but many advocates are wondering how long it will actually last. That’s because the Christie Administration is already preparing for a state Supreme Court hearing on the issue set for January.
But as of 12:01 Monday morning, Beth and Joanne, the first to obtain a civil union in the state, are one of the first same-sex couples to be wed in New Jersey.
“When we say our vows and finish, then it will hit us,” Beth said earlier in the day Sunday.
The couple says that this is not only special for them, but historical for all same-sex couples in the state.