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Marriage Equality Begins In New Jersey, Governor Christie Drops Appeal

At midnight couples began exchanging vows in New Jersey as the state became the 14th to recognize marriage equality. Later Monday, Gov. Chris Christie asked the attorney general to withdraw the state's appeal of the ruling in favor of marriage equality.

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There was a lot of anticipation as people waited at Newark City Hall for midnight.

Packed rotunda at Newark City Hall where @CoryBooker is about to marry nine couples at midnight

Ruby Cramer

@rubycramer

Packed rotunda at Newark City Hall where @CoryBooker is about to marry nine couples at midnight

/ Via

Countdown to midnight in Newark, #NJ! #NJ4M #LGBT

Lambda Legal

@LambdaLegal

Countdown to midnight in Newark, #NJ! #NJ4M #LGBT

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Arriving at Newark City Hall where @CoryBooker will officiate some of the first gay weddings in NJ @WNYC

Sarah Gonzalez

@GonzalezSarahA

Arriving at Newark City Hall where @CoryBooker will officiate some of the first gay weddings in NJ @WNYC

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There were also preparations made in Jersey City Hall.

Couples waiting to get married in Jersey City.

Katie Zezima

@katiezez

Couples waiting to get married in Jersey City.

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Many people expressed their support as midnight struck:

So excited for people in #NJ. Straight or #LGBT, they now live in a state that recognizes equal marriage rights under the law. #NJ4M

Matt Algren

@MattAlgren

So excited for people in #NJ. Straight or #LGBT, they now live in a state that recognizes equal marriage rights under the law. #NJ4M

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Yes, I am SUPER EXCITED NJ finally legalized gay marriage! I'm thrilled my state is getting it's act together. Congratulations! #LGBT #NOH8

kowaiyoukai

@kowaiyoukai

Yes, I am SUPER EXCITED NJ finally legalized gay marriage! I'm thrilled my state is getting it's act together. Congratulations! #LGBT #NOH8

/ Via

I've lived most of my life in new jersey and it being such a progressive state makes me proud. gay marriage in NJ!

jackantonoff

@jackantonoff

I've lived most of my life in new jersey and it being such a progressive state makes me proud. gay marriage in NJ!

/ Via

The first same-sex couple in Newark was married by Senator-elect Cory Booker.

1st couple in Newark to be #samesex married Joe Panessidi/Orville Bell disrupted by God protestor #nbc4ny

Brian Thompson

@brian4NY

1st couple in Newark to be #samesex married Joe Panessidi/Orville Bell disrupted by God protestor #nbc4ny

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Booker now marrying Joseph Panessidi and Orville Bell, both 65.

Ruby Cramer

@rubycramer

Booker now marrying Joseph Panessidi and Orville Bell, both 65.

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The second couple is married:

Couple #2 is married! #NJ4M #NewJersey #NJ

Lambda Legal

@LambdaLegal

Couple #2 is married! #NJ4M #NewJersey #NJ

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"Do you wish to be joined in marriage?"

"Yes yes yes!"

The crowd watching at Newark City Hall:

The crowd of faith leaders, colleagues & couples. #NJ4M #NewJersey #NJ

Lambda Legal

@LambdaLegal

The crowd of faith leaders, colleagues & couples. #NJ4M #NewJersey #NJ

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Cory Booker weds Anthony Arenas and Alexander Padilla in Newark.

.@CoryBooker weds Anthony Arenas, a Newark city employee, and Alexander Padilla.

Ruby Cramer

@rubycramer

.@CoryBooker weds Anthony Arenas, a Newark city employee, and Alexander Padilla.

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Everyone cheered in Jersey City Hall when the waiting couples were declared legally married.

A huge cheer went up in the council chambers when couples were declared legally married. Everyone in rotunda having cake, Champagne.

Katie Zezima

@katiezez

A huge cheer went up in the council chambers when couples were declared legally married. Everyone in rotunda having cake, Champagne.

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Newly married couples at Jersey City city hall, one minute after same-sex marriage was legalized in NJ.

Katie Zezima

@katiezez

Newly married couples at Jersey City city hall, one minute after same-sex marriage was legalized in NJ.

/ Via

This is Oscar and Gregory, together for 23 years, married in Jersey City at midnight.

Other couples newly married in Jersey with Mayor Steve Fulop.

Jersey City's newly-married same-sex couples with Mayor Steve Fulop. "Kiss!" The crowd yelled.

Katie Zezima

@katiezez

Jersey City's newly-married same-sex couples with Mayor Steve Fulop. "Kiss!" The crowd yelled.

/ Via

Here's the first same-sex couple married in Lambertville, New Jersey, hugging:

Update — 9:45 a.m. ET: Christie withdraws appeal of marriage ruling

Gov. Chris Christie is dropping the fight against marriage equality in New Jersey, the Star Ledger reports.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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