Chris Christie Drops Appeal Of Same-Sex Marriages In New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has dropped his appeal to legalized same-sex marriages.

The governor ended his appeal early Monday morning, just hours after a court ruling that compelled the state to become the 14th in the nation to recognize same-sex nuptials.

A unanimous Supreme Court decision on Friday made same-sex marriages legal in the state. Christie's administration immediately filed a request to delay the process.

The Supreme Court sided with a lower-court judge who ruled in favor of gay marriages last month.

Chris Christie was asking the court to delay same-sex marriage until his appeal was resolved. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the overall case in January 14, but would not delay marriages in the States. The justices said they would not delay gay marriages because Chris Christie's administration was not likely to prevail with their appeals process.

In an email sent on Monday morning, the governor's office said it was withdrawing its appeal because the chief justice on Friday left no ambiguity about the court's view.

While he has dropped the same-sex marriage appeal, his administration says the Supreme court has substituted "its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people."

Same-sex couples married in New Jersey on Monday can receive all of the same state and federal benefits of straight married couples. They are now permitted to file joint tax returns and receive Social Security survivor benefits.

Newly elected U.S. Senator Cory Booker helped preside over the marriages on Monday morning as seven gay couples and two heterosexual couples were wed at Newark's City Hall. A protester spouting out hateful remarks about homosexuals and god was removed from the marriage proceedings by police.

In 2010, Chris Christie vetoed a bill to allow for gay marriages in New Jersey. Lawmakers are still fighting against that original veto.