Booker to officiate New Jersey weddings after court's gay marriage ruling

Sen.-elect Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said that he will now officiate weddings in New Jersey following a state Supreme Court ruling that will allow same-sex marriages to begin in the state on Monday.


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"For 7 [years] I have not officiated NJ weddings because many citizens were denied that equal right," Booker tweeted on Friday. "Next week, I will officiate."

Booker said he would appear at Newark City Hall starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday to marry both gay and straight couples.

"I'm for unconditional love," Booker said.

Booker defeated Republican Steve Lonegan, 55 percent to 44 percent, in the special election last Wednesday to replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

During that campaign, an aide to Lonegan suggested in an interview to Talking Points Memo that comments Booker had made to a stripper in a Twitter message were "strange" and "like what a gay guy would say."

The comments were seen as a ploy to feed into speculation that Booker, who has publicly dated women but remains a bachelor, was gay.

Booker told The Washington Post in an interview earlier this month that he has not shared more about his dating life because it would be unfair to put the women he's seeing into the public spotlight. But he also rejected the premise that he should need to dispel rumors that he was gay.

"And people who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful," Booker said. "Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia. I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I’m gay, and I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight.' "

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