As same-sex marriages began in the Garden State, Gov. Chris Christie gave up his battle to keep marriages just between men and women in New Jersey.
In a letter received at 8:44 a.m. Monday by the state Supreme Court offices, acting state Attorney General John Hoffman officially withdrew Christie's appeal of a lower court’s decision to begin same-sex marriages in New Jersey.
The move by Christie essentially allows same-sex marriages in New Jersey making it the 14th state to do so.
Previously the state only recognized gay civil unions but just after midnight Monday, same-sex couples began to get married in ceremonies throughout the state.
The couples who have been together for years, and in some cases decades, joined in hastily arranged ceremonies that had remained in doubt until Friday when a unanimous state Supreme Court rejected the Christie administration's request to delay the implementation date of same-sex weddings.
Last month, a lower-court judge ruled that New Jersey must recognize gay marriages starting Monday.
Christie's administration said 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 said Friday's ruling showed the Supreme Court was clearly going to favor same-sex marriage and that he has a constitutional duty to enforce the law.
At this time the only northeastern state not permitting gay unions is Pennsylvania.