With Clock Ticking ‘Till Same Sex Marriages Begin, Gusciora Asks AG for Clarification on 72-Hour Waiting Period

Assemblyman Says Gay Couples Have Waited Long Enough, Don’t Pose Risk of “Britney Spears Weekend Wedding” Mishaps

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) on Thursday reached out to New Jersey’s Attorney General to seek clarification on whether same-sex couples seeking to legally wed beginning on Oct. 21 must be subject to the state’s standard 72-hour waiting period after applying for a marriage license.

Gusciora reached out on behalf of mayors and constituents who have expressed concern over whether clerks can legally accept a marriage application before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Jacobson’s Order takes effect on Monday, allowing same-sex couples to legally wed in New Jersey for the first time.

In his letter sent to Acting Attorney General John Hoffman today, Gusciora noted, “As you know, the intent of the 72-hour waiting period has been to prevent ‘Britney Spears weekend weddings’ and the like; however, many same-sex couples are currently in longstanding civil unions or domestic partnerships, arguably making the 72-hour waiting period unwarranted.”

Because marriage licenses must essentially be applied for by the close of business today in order for a couple to wed on Monday, and because a Superior Court judge may, by order, waive all or any part of the 72-hour waiting period, Gusciora is seeking urgent clarification to help couples and officiants avoid any further confusion.

Among the chief questions Gusciora is seeking to clarify is whether couples can apply for a license in advance of Monday or whether the 72-hour waiting period applies to long-standing couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships.

A full copy of Gusciora’s letter to the Attorney General can be viewed here.