Laurel Hester’s Last Request

It’s typical to hear a lot of speeches on MLK Day; some eloquent, some less so. It’s rarer to hear one that speaks in a simple and powerful way to the principles that Dr. King stood for; so that anyone with ears can’t help but hear.

Few will do that today more effectively than the message to Laurel Hester is sending to the Freeholders of Ocean County, NJ. Too weak to attend their meetings anymore, and struggling for breath, Hester implores the Freeholders to “make a change for good, a change for righteousness,” and on a day when we honor one who lived and died fighting for equality and dignity.

Hester, a 23-year veteran of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, is asking the Ocean County Freeholder to pass a resolution to extend retirement benefits to the registered domestic partners of County employees so she can leave her pension to her partner Stacie Andree. Unlike Bergen, Hudson, Mercer, Union and Monmouth Counties, Ocean County has so far refused to extend those benefits.

Freeholder John Kelly, liaison to the public safety department, has been quoted in news reports as not approving of domestic partnerships because “they violate the sanctity of marriage.” Recently, however, the Freeholders have added “financial concerns” to their reasons for not extending benefits.

Garden State Equality has the video, which they will play at the Freeholder’s next meeting on January 18th, just two days from now.

Ask yourself what MLK would do, and then plan to be at the Freeholder’s meeting at 4 p.m. on Jan. 18; Room 119, first floor floor Ocean County Administration Building, 101 Hooper Ave., Toms River, N.J. And if you can’t be there, do the next best thing and call the Freeholders at (732) 929-4217.

After all, what better way is to honor King today than to make a stand for simple justice and equality? 

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Family, Gay Rights, Politics, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Laurel Hester’s Last Request

  1. This is insane. What ever happened to seperation of church and state? I hope they get off of their overly religious high horse and do what is right it is her pension she worked for it it should go to whom she sees fit. Ask themselves what would Jesus do???

  2. Djacq in Erie, Pa. says:

    I don’t understand what could stop them giving the pension to her partner, other than pure homophobia.  Is it so hard to imagine yourself in her shoes, in her partner’s shoes?  We can’t marry so we can’t have the protections all  straight people take for granted.  
    Please, move away from the Old Testament and remember the love and compassion of the New Testament.  I firmly believe God will judge us not by who we loved but that we loved. 

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