PHOTOS: First Same Sex Marriages in Jersey City

(above) First Same-Sex Couples to Marry in Jersey City with Mayor Steve Fulop (center)

On behalf of the Jersey City Independent, I congratulate all the couples who were the first to get married earlier this morning in Jersey City and throughout the State of New Jersey.

It was already a great day to celebrate history and equality, and then the news that Governor Christie dropped the appeal of the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling slated for January came in. Same-sex marriages are not only legal now in New Jersey but they are here to stay!

On a personal note, my parter Beth Achenbach and I were the first couple to become Domestic Partners in Jersey City in 2004. As LGBT activists, we have attended Marriage Equality rallies, gone to town hall meetings throughout the state, and followed the personal stories of discrimination and inequality faced by other same-sex couples and their families who didn’t have the same rights and privileges as their straight counterparts.

Marriage rights include joint state tax returns, co-ownership of property, the ability to make critical and emergency medical decisions – without lengthy and expensive legal documents – a marriage license does all this and so much more.

Finally, this fight is over for New Jersey. We join the other 13 states in the nation where it is legal to marry your same-sex partner, to be protected by the same laws and afforded the same rights as every other married American.

The fight is certainly not over for the other 36 states and I for one hope they are able to celebrate with NJ very soon. Beth & I agreed¬†we would wait until it was legal in New Jersey to get married…¬†after 11 years together we can finally start planning our own wedding.

Catherine A. Hecht

Photos by Mickey Mathis

Catherine Hecht

is the owner of Harmony Media, NJ, the publisher of Jersey City Independent and blogs about urban gardening at dig a path. She's lived in Jersey City since 1999 and resides in the Heights section with her wife Beth Achenbach, they were the first couple to file as legal domestic partners in Jersey City. Cat has over 10 years experience in communications, marketing and publishing, she's studied anthropology, art history, woman & gender studies, botany, ethnobotany, and herbology and she is a graduate of the Rising Tide Capital Community Business Academy. She is also is a community activist, registered voter, gay rights activist, art lover, gardener, environmentalist, and an animal advocate.