Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Jersey Becomes 3rd State To Offer Civil Unions


AP:

HADDONFIELD, N.J. — Diane Marini used to joke that she was always the bridesmaid and never the bride because, as a lesbian, she thought it was unlikely New Jersey would ever approve same-sex marriage.

Still, she and longtime partner Marilyn Maneely campaigned for gay marriage. They were among seven couples who sued the state in 2002 demanding the right to marry. While their suit didn't lead to a gay marriage law, it has led to New Jersey becoming the third state to offer civil unions to same-sex couples.

The civil unions law takes effect Monday and some same-sex couples are planning ceremonies. For couples who are not already in civil unions from other states, however, there is a 72-hour waiting period after applying for a license — just like with marriages. A few town halls around the state planned to open at 12:01 a.m. Monday so couples could file their applications.

It will be a bittersweet day for Marini, because Maneely died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 2005, more than a year before the case was decided.

"I'm thrilled to have been part of the whole movement to show people who didn't know what marriage meant, why it was important," said Marini, who plans to attend one couple's ceremony next weekend and probably several more in the next few months.

Well, it's about time! Congrats to all the happy couples!

1 comment:

lauren said...

Congrats to those in NJ, and keep up the good fight for full marriage equality.

BTW, photo above the post is the lovely Jenn Steinfeld from Marriage Equality RI (no connection to NJ).

Check out Jenn's blog at www.marriageequalityri.com/blog