NJ Becomes 14th State to Legalize Gay Marriage

Governor Chris Christie announced Monday morning that he would abandon his legal challenge against same-sex marriage in New Jersey, only a few hours after many same-sex couples tied the knot just after midnight.

"Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law," said a Christie spokesman. "The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court."

Gov. Christie's decision to retract his appeal against the ruling that allowed same-sex marriage followed shortly after the State Supreme Court rejected his request to delay same-sex marriage until his appeal was settled.

"It's a good choice on Christie's behalf because I feel like the gay community wouldn't settle for him saying no to gay marriage equality. We would keep persisting forward to make it happen," junior Sydney Hopen said. "I'd like to hope that most people would be in favor of him withdrawing his appeal. I definitely think he will get pushback, but at the same time, a lot of states are approving gay marriages."

With the retraction of Gov. Christie's appeal, New Jersey will officially become the 14th state to allow same-sex marriage. The state has recognized civil unions since 2007.

"I'm glad New Jersey is finally catching up to the 21st century and joining other states that are accepting gay marriage. It's a nice victory for the gay community," senior Santiago Castro said.

Several same-sex couples had already been joined in marriage when Gov. Christie revealed that he would drop his appeal.

According to CNN, Senator-elect Cory Booker officiated seven same-sex marriages and two opposite-sex marriages on Monday, just after midnight, after having refused to conduct marriages while same-sex marriages were not legal.

"While you all have fallen in love, the state of New Jersey has risen to love," Booker said after performing his first marriage ceremony.

Students largely reacted positively to New Jersey become the 14th state to legalize gay marriage.

"Marriage equality is really good for the state of New Jersey," sophomore Cassandra Lainez said. "I feel that the fact that same sex marriage is now legal will give people a more open mind to the LGBT community."

Freshman Michael Blanco hopes that other states will follow in New Jersey's foot steps.

"I know there aren't too many states that have passed the marriage equality law, but I am a free-thinker who thinks that everybody should have equal rights, and marriage was a real 'equal rights thing' that was being held from people," Blanco said. "It's a psychological norm that people will follow a trend, and if the trend is that the entire northeastern region has already passed gay marriage rights, then states who haven't done so will feel like the odd ones out and conform to that."