TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two local towns have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples with a court order in place to allow same-sex marriages starting Monday.
The state Health Department and gay rights groups are disputing whether Red Bank & Asbury Park and any other towns are within their rights to issue the licenses.
The Star-Ledger of Newark reports the state Health Department sent emails to municipal clerks yesterday telling them not to issue the licenses until after the state Supreme Court rules on whether the nuptials will be recognized next week.
Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna told the Asbury Park Press, “I directed the clerk to take applications. It’s the right thing to do. We received inquiries from residents and nonresidents. It’s not fair to keep them in suspense.”
Lambda Legal says towns should start issuing licenses now so that couples can wed starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
Under state law, there’s a 72-hour waiting period on marriage licenses.
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