After nearly a year of rejecting a dying police officer's pleas, lawmakers in Ocean County, N.J, abruptly changed course and agreed to allow Lt. Laurel Hester to transfer benefits to her partner, Stacie Andree.Pam's House Blend and The Big Gay Picture report on the significance of the victory.
Apparently last night, Jackson Township Committeeman Mark A. Seda, a Republican, convinced his colleagues to unanimously vote for their town to extend domestic partner benefits to their employees. New Jersey state law allowed the move, but left it up to each county to decide whether to provide benefits. Seda is quoted as saying:
From what I can see, I'm only one of millions who's been touched in a very big way by Lt. Hester's story. If it weren't for Lt Hester's heart-wrenching story, I would probably not have paid much attention to this issue. Her dignity and the incredible bravery she's displayed at the end of her life in wanting to change the world has inspired me to realize that as an elected official I should be standing by her side.I've been approached by a lot of people in Jackson and elsewhere about this issue.Pam has a few words for the "spineless" national Democratic leadership on how to deal with these kinds of issues. I second her comments wholeheartedly!
I was very pleased to learn that the overwhelming majority of them agree with me that this is an important civil rights issue; an issue that as Americans we all have to address. To me, it seems like it's nothing other than a very simple matter of fundamental fairness and Equal Rights for All Americans. If it weren't for Lt Hester's heart-wrenching story, I would probably not have paid much attention to this issue.
It's that simple. Admit you didn't understand the complexities, say this is something that needs to be corrected, and move ahead and do it, because it is about fairness.