MAPLEWOOD - Same-sex couples across the state were married Monday after a Supreme Court ruling made New Jersey the 14th state to recognize gay marriages.
Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca presided over a group ceremony involving 10 couples Monday afternoon.
Several of the couples had had commitment ceremonies, domestic partnerships, civil unions and even marriages performed in other states. But being able to say "I do" in New Jersey gave these vows special significance for their relationships and their children.
"It's absolutely about them," says Jan Kaminsky. "Protection for them. God forbid something should happen to one of us."
Many of the couples say this ceremony means more than just a document. "It's a very important day," says Patricia Bannan, of Montvale. "Finally we have marriage equality in New Jersey. It's been a long, long battle. We love each other. We deserve this, everyone deserves this. And we're just happy to be a part of this."
Just after midnight Monday morning, Newark Mayor Cory Booker also performed five same-sex marriage ceremonies. Other ceremonies were performed in Jersey City, Asbury Park and Lambertville.