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"GLBTI Weddings PLUS!"

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ocean Grove couple was denied use of pavillion

Civil union ceremony set for pier

Posted by the Asbury Park Press BY BILL BOWMAN

OCEAN GROVE — Sunday will be a "dream come true" for an Ocean Grove couple when they hold their civil union ceremony on the fishing pier.

Janice Moore, 70, and Emily Sonnessa, 77, will hold their ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday in front of about 60 relatives and friends, Moore said. The ceremony will be officiated by Neptune Deputy Mayor Randy Bishop.

The couple is one of two battling the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association over its refusal to allow same-sex civil unions in the boardwalk pavilion. The association maintains that the pavilion is a religious structure, while Ocean Grove's gay community and its supporters say it is a public area.

"I am so excited," Moore said. "I can't believe that we ever lived to see this come into effect, these (civil union) laws. And I'm so grateful to God that if we have any young ones in the family who grow up, and they happen to be gay, they don't face these problems. Maybe we can make their path easier in life."

Moore and Sonnessa have been together for nearly 38 years, Moore said.

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