In other words, New Jersey became the fourteenth state to recognize that all of it's citizens deserve the respect and protections that heretofore was only afforded to heterosexual couples. New Jersey became the fourteenth state to recognize that it's gay citizens were not "less than" but equal in the eyes of the law to all the other citizens of this great state.
When I met Bill, my spouse, in the summer of 1964 in Philadelphia, he lived in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Yes Virginia, our "wedding night" was spent in his apartment at Penn Manor Apartments, 3727A Herbert Avenue, Pennsauken, New Jersey.
|Me at Bill's Penn Manor, Pennsauken, New Jersey apartment - 1964 (MUCH nicer than my two room efficiency furnished apartment in Coatesville, PA - I was MOVING ON UP!)|
Eight months after meeting Bill in July of 1964, I moved from my $65.00 a month furnished apartment in Coatesville, Pennsylvania apartment to Bill's two bedroom garden apartment at Penn Manor in Pennsuaken, New Jersey. Bill had asked me to move in with him when he presented me with a "wedding ring" at Christmas 1964. After some hesitation (I was only 22 years old to his 35 years old), I consented to quit my $80 a week bookkeeping job at Lipsett Steel Products (a local scrapyard, not a glamourous job but I did work with a lot of hunky guys, my milieu) and try to get a job in Philadelphia. I always wanted to work at a bank. Fortunately for me my good friend Ron Hampton worked at Girard Bank and was able to secure an interview for me.
|My friend Ron Hampton at my Coatesville, PA apartment - 1964|
Two weeks after interviewing for a bank auditor job I received a letter from Dick Thomas, the personnel officer who interviewed me. He offered me a job in the Trust Department. The job was called "Trust Accounting" but in actuality the job was a remittance clerk, responsible to seeing that payments were made on a daily basis to Girard Bank's 17,000 plus trust customers. Even though the job only paid $70.00 a week, a $20.00 a week cut which was a BIG CUT in 1964, I accepted the job. My first day of employment was to begin March 1st, 1965.
|Me carrying on at my Coatesville apartment - I may have been poor but I was happy! - 1964|
|My kitchen/dining room table in my Coatesville apartment - believe it or not I still have that radio and Aunt Jemina cozy (which my Mother made). I never throw ANYTHING away. Check out the aqua ashtray. - 1964|
|Ed packing in my clothes in the back seat of his VW behind my Coatesville apartment - 1964|
|Me in Ed's VW Beetle with my plant, glasses (before I got contact lenses) and my faux fur car coat - oh those were the days! - 1964|
You know it's always interesting that when I begin a blog post I don't know where I'm going with it. I just let my brain lead my fingers (yes, I type, no verbal software for this typist).
I am so happy for those couple who are getting married in New Jersey today. Do you notice how extremely happy they are? Have you noticed the wall to wall smiles all gays couples (both male and female) have when they are finally allowed to get married just like anybody else thus ending the legalized practice of treating gay couples as "less than?"
So to Chris Christie, who finally had the sense not to challenge the judge's ruling that same sex marriages are now legal in New Jersey, welcome to the right side of history. And to all those newlywed, happy gay couples who will now be treated equally under the law in New Jersey, congratulations. And to the remaining thirty six states of this country who are still practicing legalized discrimination, who persist in treating its gay citizens as second class citizens; it's just a matter of time baby......just a matter of time.