We deserve better treatment from the governor

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earthAries (Mar21-Apr20): You might want to ease up on the gas pedal, or better yet, turn off the engine, get out of your vehicle, and stretch.  While things are moving along satisfactorily, Saturn makes even your most notable achievements a burden.  What good is success if it makes you miserable?

an open letter to everyone….

Patricia and I were married on the beach in Provincetown, MA in September of 1982. Of course, it wasn’t legal back then. We did all the things the government required of us in order to get the same benefits that straight couples have. In 2004, we went down to town hall, filled out the paperwork, paid the fee and became domestic partners.

We were the first couple in line. This gave us very limited rights.

In 2006, the NJ State Supreme Court ruled that NJ gay couples had to be granted equal rights. We were elated. NJ passed a civil union law in response in 2007. We went down to town hall, filled out the paperwork, paid the fee, waited the 3 day period, hired an officiant and became civil unioned in our living room.

We were the 2nd couple in that line.

This supposedly gave us the same rights as other married NJ couples. In actuality, it did not.

We were very excited when in early 2012 the NJ legislature passed a same-sex marriage law. We thought, Well, finally this is it. Just in time for our 30th wedding anniversary. We can get married on the beach in Cape May like we originally did in Provincetown, but this time it will count.

We were appalled and disappointed when Chris Christie vetoed the legislation.

So, we changed our plans and for our 30th Wedding Anniversary, we went to the marriage bureau in NYC to get married again. We waited in line, filled out the paperwork, paid the fee, had to wait out the 24 hour period (they told us our civil union didn’t count), and had to go back the next day to get married. We were number 406 one day and number 322 the second day. It wasn’t very romantic, but we were finally done. All we had to do is wait for the Supreme Court to over-turn DOMA, and we would finally be legal.

Or so we thought.

NJ treats our NY marriage as a civil union, and the US Supreme Court didn’t include civil unions
in their ruling.

I will be retirement eligible in July, but I can’t retire because Patty isn’t entitled to my pension or social security benefits if I die and vice versa.

What now?

If Chris Christie gets re-elected, he has already vowed to veto the legislation again. Then, I can’t retire for 5 more years?

If the 2014 ballot initiative he wants to have fails to pass same-sex marriage like the other 34 states that failed, then I have to wait 10 more years for all the appeals to be done?

How much more do we have to withstand so we can have the same rights as everyone else? The NJ State Supreme Court ruled we were supposed to get the same rights in 2006 – it’s already 2013.

Patty and I are running out of time. We are together 32 years this year. Who are we hurting by wanting the same legal and financial protections everyone else has?

Our Request: Please vote in November, but not for Chris Christie. He doesn’t deserve your vote because he is hateful and hurtful. He is the only one standing in the way of equality and financial security for NJ LGBT couples.

We deserve better treatment.

The new governor could sign the legislation as early as January or February of 2014. That’s our best hope for the shortest road to happiness. We hope that you will help us get there. Thanks for your consideration.

Love,
Barbara Karolski and Patricia Tomeske, NJ

an open letter to everyone….

Patricia and I were married on the beach in Provincetown, MA in September of 1982. Of course, it wasn’t legal back then. We did all the things the government required of us in order to get the same benefits that straight couples have. In 2004, we went down to town hall, filled out the paperwork, paid the fee and became domestic partners.

We were the first couple in line. This gave us very limited rights.