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Who Will Be New Jersey’s First Legally Married Gay Couple? [VIDEO]

The couple who filed suit against New Jersey to legalize gay marriage will likely be the first legally married gay couple in New Jersey.

Rally celebrating state Supreme Court decision upholding gay marriage in NJ
Rally celebrating state Supreme Court decision upholding gay marriage in NJ (WCBS TV)

Louise Walpin and Marsha Shapiro will be wed in a ceremony that will begin shortly before midnight at the Elizabeth home of state Senator Raymond Lesniak (D). They are the plaintiffs in the suit brought to court by Garden State Equality.

Senate majority leader Loretta Weinberg will walk the couple, who have been together 24 years, down the aisle.  Roselle Mayor Jamel C. Holley will officiate. Weinberg and Lesniak are have long supported gay marriage in New Jersey.

As New Jersey prepares for its first gay marriages at the stroke of midnight on Monday morning the Legislature is looking to override Governor Christie’s veto of a bill legalizing gay marriage in the state.

“The votes are beginning to be counted,” Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) tells the Star Ledger. “By Monday, you will see marriages being performed in New Jersey. That’s going to influence those sitting on the fence.” However, she said there isn’t a real active movement to take a vote, which would have to be done by January.

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s decison on Friday upholds a ruling that allows gay marriage in  the state to begin on Monday. However, there is the matter of the legality of gay marriage in New Jersey which the Supreme Court will take up in January.

“It’s important to get the legislative change on the books,” state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D) explained to the Star Ledger.  “This court was unanimous in its decision that there is not a likelihood the appeal will succeed. On the other hand, courts ultimately do change and Supreme Courts do reverse themselves.”

The legislature could not get the two-third majority needed to override Governor Christie’s veto of a bill legalizing gay marriage; they have never been able to override any Christie veto.


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