LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. (AP) -- Same-sex weddings have begun in New Jersey, which has become the 14th state to recognize nuptials between gay partners.
Weddings were held in several cities and towns across the state in the first minutes of Monday morning, as soon as a court order requiring the state to recognize gay marriage went into effect.
In Newark, Mayor and U.S. Sen.-elect Cory Booker choked up as he led the ceremony for seven gay couples, telling the audience, "This is very beautiful."
The weddings there and elsewhere went ahead after the state Supreme Court on Friday denied Gov. Chris Christie's request to delay the date when a lower court mandated gay marriage be legalized.
On Monday, Christie dropped his appeal. In an email, the governor's office says it submitted a formal withdrawal to the state Supreme Court.
Christie's administration says he strongly disagrees with the court substituting "its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people." But he says the Supreme Court was clearly going to favor same-sex marriage and that he has a constitutional duty to enforce the law.