TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gay rights advocates are welcoming today's decision by New Jersey's governor to end his challenge to same-sex marriages, which began in the state earlier today.
New Jersey became the 14th state to allow gay marriages, three days after the state Supreme Court rejected Gov. Chris Christie's request to delay them.
The decision today by Christie to end the legal challenges removes the possibility that the vows being exchanged by the same-sex couples could be undone by a court.
Christie has said state residents, and not a court or legislators, should decide the issue. But a Christie spokesman says the governor will enforce the law as interpreted by the state Supreme Court.
A foe of gay marriage, Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, says it's "another example of the courts making law out of thin air." He says Christie "should have continued the lawsuit." And Brown says his own group could look into whether it could continue the legal fight -- but he doubts that the courts would allow anyone to intervene.
163-v-32-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)--New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has dropped his fight against same-sex marriage in the state. AP correspondent Warren Levinson reports. (21 Oct 2013)
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058-a-04-(Lynne Womble, administrative assistant, at wedding ceremonies)-"is for everyone"-Lynne Womble, who married her partner Debra Summers, says the love she has for her wife is the basis of equality. (21 Oct 2013)
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059-r-14-(Cory Booker, Newark mayor and U.S. senator-elect, D-N.J., wedding a same-sex couple during ceremony at City Hall after midnight Monday)--Sound of Newark Mayor Cory Booker wedding a same-sex couple during ceremony at City Hall after midnight Monday (21 Oct 2013)
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APPHOTO TN101: FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 file photograph, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie listens to a question in Trenton, N.J. Christie has dropped his appeal to legalized same-sex marriages in New Jersey. In an email sent Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, the governor's office says it submitted a formal withdrawal to the state Supreme Court Monday morning. Last month, a lower-court judge ruled that New Jersey must recognize gay marriages starting Monday. Gay couples began exchanging vows shortly after midnight. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File) (18 Sep 2013)
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