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Associated Press, Published October 20 2013

Gay couples wed as New Jersey recognizes nuptials

Gay couples wed as NJ recognizes nuptials

Eds: APNewsNow. Updates with gay marriage ceremonies beginning. Changes dateline. Will be updated. With AP Photos.

GEOFF MULVIHILL

Associated Press

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — Gay couples have begun exchanging wedding vows in New Jersey as the state began recognizing their marriages.

Under a court order, same-sex marriages became legal at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Couples joining in early-morning ceremonies in Newark, Elizabeth and other communities became the first to take advantage of their new status.

Beth Asaro and Joanne Schailey of Lambertville were among the first to be wed. The pair also was joined in a civil union the minute they became legal in 2007.

New Jersey is the 14th state to recognize same-sex marriage.

The state Supreme Court last week refused to grant a delay in the implementation of a lower court's ruling that mandated the state recognize gay marriage.

Gov. Chris Christie's administration had sought the delay.