Photo: Via AP.
When the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. in New Jersey on Tuesday, same-sex couples will be able to marry for the first time. At that moment, Lambertville residents Beth Asaro, a city councilwoman, and Joanne Schailey, a registered nurse, will become the first legally married gay couple in the state. This comes after a judge ruled last month that New Jersey must allow same-sex marriage by October 21. Schailey and Asaro, who have been partners for 27 years, also made a commitment at the Lambertville Justice Center in 2007 when they became the first to be joined under the state's then-new civil union law. "We wanted to put Lambertville on the map in 2007," Asaro told the Hamilton Observer. "And we want to do that again first thing next Tuesday morning."
"Initially, we never considered that someday marriage might be an option for us," Asaro said. "It wasn’t even on the radar. We were glad to be able to live without ridicule or persecution, and we were closeted except for our closest friends and family. We didn’t reveal ourselves at work, or new friends, as we were scared we’d be ostracized, fired or shunned. Being gay was definitely not cool then, not even close." Still, the couple persevered. "Joanne always told me that the battle for equality would have to be won one person at a time. It would be painstakingly slow, she said, but it could be done.
"This is the right thing to do, and we’re happy to do it," said Lambertville mayor David Del Vecchio added. "This is something that’s long overdue."
While New Jersey governor Chris Christie has attempted to block the ruling, he's only met with defeat. The Supreme Court of New Jersey unanimously rejected his request last week for a stay of the September 27 decision by Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson. The state's Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in that appeal for January 6 and 7, according to Bloomberg. (Hamilton Observer)