Coming on the heels of a state Supreme Court decision upholding same-sex marriage in New Jersey last week, a Lincroft congregation has announced that it will begin performing the ceremonies as early as Monday evening.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County “will open its doors to perform wedding ceremonies for all same sex couples who have been denied this right,” officials there announced this weekend.
Marriage licenses will be available starting on Oct. 21 at local registrars offices—a couple can ask for a waiver of the standard 72-hour waiting period that same day, according to UUCMC Board of Trustees member Sandy Blakelock.
“Congratulations New Jersey and all who have worked for and dreamed of this day!” Blakelock said in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating with you!”
Though a final ruling will come next year following an appeal by Gov. Chris Christie, the state Supreme Court said last week that “the public interest does not favor a stay,” according to an nj.com report, meaning same-sex marriages can happen.
Christie previously stated he believes the voters of New Jersey should determine the legality of same-sex marriage in the state. But, his office has announced state and municipal offices must cooperate with the ruling.
"The Supreme Court has made its determination,” Michael Drewniak, Press Secretary to Gov. Christie said in a statement issued last week. “While the Governor firmly believes that this determination should be made by all the people of the State of New Jersey, he has instructed the Department of Health to cooperate with all municipalities in effectuating the order of the Superior Court under the applicable law."
UUCMC invites couples “who cannot wait any longer” to be married Monday between 6 and 8 p.m. by Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst and Rev. Rosemarie Newberry at the 1475 West Front St. location.
Weddings will also be performed by Jarocha-Ernst on Saturday, Oct. 26, between 12 and 3 p.m.
UUCMC officials said the marriages are being offered free of charge to all same-sex couples who have been in a committed relationship and can now be married, though donations are welcomed.
Couples are asked to bring their marriage license, waiver of the waiting period if applicable, and a form of personal identification.
Those interested in marrying at another time are asked to email Jarocha-Ernst.