Local/State

NJ same-sex couples apply for marriage licenses

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Same-sex couples in New Jersey rushed to apply for marriage licenses, a day after the state's highest court ruled ceremonies could begin Monday.

RELATED: Read the NJ Supreme Court's decision online

"To have a legal marriage license is something you dream about but don't think will happen," said Beverly Shepherd.

"We were just hoping in our lifetime we'd be able to do this," said Laurel Burns.

Shepherd and Burns already had a commitment ceremony but Saturday they began the paperwork to make their 11-year relationship a marriage in the eyes of the state of New Jersey.

Steven Burch and Stephen Drayton also came to start the paperwork.

"Him, me - 14 years together and now I can call him my husband," said Burch.

"I can pass property without taxes being put on it. I can visit him in the hospital if he's sick without saying you're not related," said Drayton.

All day at the Collingswood Community Center people have been taking applications. After 72 hours, these will become marriage licenses and the weddings can begin.

"I expect to do 20-25 weddings coming up," said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley.

Mayor Maley extended the hours to file.

"I made myself available Friday, Saturday and Sunday. People have expressed an interest in that," he said.

On Friday came the announcement that the New Jersey Supreme Court had upheld a lower court order, clearing the way for same-sex marriages to begin on Monday.

Collingswood put the wheels in motion for residents or people planning their wedding in the borough.

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new jersey news, gay marriage, local/state
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