Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey dropped his challenge to the legalization of same-sex unions in the state Monday, instigating a storm of gay weddings in various counties. Although the Governor is in opposition to the legislation, he withdrew his appeal to the State Supreme Court because it was not likely to be overruled.
In June, the United States Supreme Court gave same-sex couples marital rights for federal benefits, and several states nationwide have followed suit. New Jersey has now become the fourteenth state in America to legalize same-sex unions, and weddings are being performed in a "frantic scramble" all over the state, according to U.S. News.
Mayor Cory Booker, who refused to officiate weddings in the past until same-sex unions were recognized, performed several weddings at Newark City Hall. According to FoxNews, a man in the crowd objected when the Mayor asked if there was any reason that the gay couple he was uniting should not be wed with, "This is unlawful in the eyes of God and Jesus Christ." Unfortunately, Booker retorted that he had not heard "any substantive and worthy objections," and the man was removed from the ceremony by police.
When asked how the church should respond to the new legislation, Pastor Won Kwak at Maranatha Grace Fort Lee emphasized the need for pastors to be "clear in our teaching and our understanding of marriage being an institution by God." While the legislation doesn't change the church's stance on marriage, Pastor Kwak echoes the sentiments of Christians nationwide - "it's unfortunate that the judicial system seems to be having so much of a role in legislating institutions that have so much to do with the preservation of society ... it's a sad situation, but we have Christ - we have hope," he says.