NJ Couple Prepares To Officially Wed - KMSP-TV

NJ Couple Prepares To Officially Wed

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In just 2 hours from now history will be made here in Lambertville when two women will become the first gay couple legally married in the state of New Jersey, a relationship that's been nearly three decades in the making.

When they first met 27 years ago, marriage let alone their relationship wasn't something to talk about.

AT 12:01a.m., Joanne Schailey and Beth Asaro will make history in a small Lambertville courtroom being one of the first gay couples in the state to be legally married.

"20 years ago you didn't tell anybody at work you were gay. You were afraid you would get fired or ostracized. It's a whole different world now," Schailey said.

"Like real people we know that but to have the whole state understand that and accept that and just to be equal is beyond words," Asaro said.

Asaro, a City Councilwoman and Schailey, a registered nurse was legally married in New York.

They also had a civil union ceremony here in Lambertville in 2007, but today they are making official.

The town's mayor will perform the historic ceremony, fitting for a town that has one of the largest percentages of gay and lesbian couples.

"I'm a 57 year old heterosexual male I took it for granted that growing up I can get married and have a family you know now Beth and Joanne can have the same dreams and aspirations and heartbreak but it's full citizenship," Lambertville Mayor David DelVecchio said.

For this couple they say it's like the end of a marathon, a race to be whole just like any other couple.

The happy couple is celebrating with cake and visiting guests. Then at precisely after the stroke of midnight, Beth and Joanne with their 13 year old daughter as their flower girl will be legally married.

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