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"GLBTI Weddings PLUS!"

The Blog of the U.S.'s first GLBTI-specific Wedding and Events firm. Discussion spot for clients and visitors to interact with staff and experts, in an informal forum, regarding Gay Weddings or Same-Sex Marriage, LGBT weddings and Traditional weddings and other issues affecting the GLBTI.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

219 Gay Couples United In First Month Of NJ Civil Unions
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 20, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Trenton, New Jersey) In the first month that civil unions have been legal in New Jersey at least 219 same-sex couples have been united according to statistics released Tuesday by the state Health and Senior Services Department.

The figures show that at least one gay couple had applied for a civil union in each of new Jersey's 21 counties.

The Department's statistics cover the period from Feb. 19, when the law went into effect, until March 19.

In addition to the new applicants, at least 10 gay couples who entered into civil unions or marriages elsewhere have filed papers to reaffirm their relationships in New Jersey.

Last October the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples must have all the rights of marriage.

The Court gave the New Jersey State Legislature 180 days to act on the decision to grant same-sex couples the rights and benefits enjoyed by different-sex married couples but left it up to the legislators to decide whether to call it marriage or civil unions. (story)

The legislature opted for civil unions. But, that say civil rights groups, amounts to separate but equal and are threatening to take the issue back to the Supreme Court.

Garden State Equality, New Jersey's statewide LGBT rights group called the numbers released by the state Tuesday "extremely low" but added it was not surprised.

"There’s a huge sense in the gay community that we’re going to win full marriage equality here soon," chair Steven Goldstein told the New York times.

"In the context of a civil rights movement, that means the next couple of years, given the momentum we have in the State Legislature. Couples are saying to themselves, ‘We’re going to get marriage anyway, why get civil unioned?" he said.

A bill to amend the civil union law and provide marriage has been filed in the legislature. Meanwhile, opponents of gay marriage are trying to get a proposed amendment on the ballot to ban gay marriage.

Democrats in both houses have said they would not post a vote for a constitutional amendment that would undermine the rights of same-sex couples.

While McHose and Doherty try to muster support in the legislature for an amendment the conservative New Jersey Family Policy Council is pushing its own petition drive to get a proposed amendment on the ballot.

The group says it has printed enough petitions for 300,000 names.

There are an estimated 20,000 same-sex couples living in New Jersey.

© 2007

Note: Cake Toppers pictured are available from!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Garden State Equality condemns Peter Pace
as unfit to lead the U.S. military

Response from Steven Goldstein, chair, Garden State Equality,

As you may have read in today's news, General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, has endorsed the U.S. military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Pace, who grew up in New Jersey, says: "homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral... and I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is okay to be immoral in any way."

First the general is hardly in a position to judge others. As a leader of the war in Iraq, General Pace has shown as much savvy in leading the military as Alfred E. Neuman would have in explaining the theory of relativity. Of course General Pace believes in "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." He's been key to the Administration's edict, "Don't ask about the war, and don't tell the American people how badly it's going."

Secondly, how ironic for man whose last name is Pace that the general hasn't kept up with the pace of progress. His views qualify him to run a war in the Gunsmoke era of 1955 rather than in a military theatre in 2007.

Thirdly, it's too bad that growing up in New Jersey didn't rub off on General Pace. Where New Jersey is the state that doesn't hate, General Pace somehow got stuck in a personal state of hate. "


Watch committed same-sex couples share their lives and build families together on the new video minisite, 10 Couples, created by the ACLU and cosponsored by Lambda Legal and other organizations.
New York Court Upholds Westchester County Executive Order Respecting Out-of-State Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

Lambda Legal announces today that the Supreme Court of New York, Westchester County has held that County Executive Spano is adhering to New York law in respecting out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples living in Westchester County.
“Today’s decision takes away any doubt that we are who we have always said we are: a married couple,” said Sabatino. “It’s so freeing to have our relationship honored for what it is in the community where we live and make our life together as a married couple.”

“Today’s decision follows a long history of settled law in New York, namely that our state respects marriages that are validly entered into in other jurisdictions,” said Alphonso David, Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal and lead attorney on this case. “Our clients can now have peace of mind that their marriage is respected in Westchester, consistent with New York law.”

Friday, March 09, 2007

NJ Same-Sex Couple Name Change Requires No Court Order
via Social Security News

From a Social Security Regional Council memorandum posted in Social Security's
Program Operations Manual Series (POMS):
You asked us to determine whether an individual who enters into a civil union in the State of New Jersey may legally change his or her name based solely upon the civil union event or whether a court order is required to effectuate the proposed name change. Recently enacted New Jersey legislation legalizing civil unions specifically allows for the right to change surnames based upon a civil union event without a court order. Accordingly, an individual who enters a civil union in the State of New Jersey may legally change his or her name without a court order.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Disney's Magic Kingdom Closed to Same-Sex Weddings
by Michael Jensen,; March 5, 2007

On the Feb. 20th episode of The View, well-known wedding planner David Tutera appeared on the talk show to promote his David Tutera Couture Wedding Collection at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Fla. The collection allows the happy couple to choose between four elaborate wedding styles: classic elegance, simply chic, cocktail soiree and whimsical garden.

But are those weddings available if there are two brides or two grooms? Short answer: no. According to Walt Disney World spokesperson Jason DiPietre, Disney's Florida property requires a valid Florida marriage license in order to offer their services.

But getting that answer was far from a straightforward task, as the Walt Disney World Weddings website and the Disney consultants at first gave confusing, often contradictory information to's questions.

The fact is, Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons offers wedding ceremonies, not marriage licenses. The two things are legally completely separate; no license is legally required or necessary for such a ceremony to take place.

When asked why Disney, a private corporation, insisted it needs a valid marriage license to offer wedding services, DiPietre responded that what "makes the marriage binding and recognized by the state [of Florida] is the license, so that is why we need the license."

Florida state law, however, does not regulate to whom Disney may offer their wedding services; it only regulates which ceremonies the state recognizes as legal — a fact that we pointed out to DiPietre. He said in response: "What we offer our guests is the opportunity to get married through the state of Florida. A marriage is only recognized in the state [of Florida] with a marriage license."