N.J. county rejects dying gay cop's pleas -- again

The Ocean County freeholders show terminally ill police officer Laurel Hester no mercy.

Published January 20, 2006 6:41PM (EST)

Thanks to Pandagon for keeping us posted on terminally ill New Jersey cop Laurel Hester's latest meeting with the county board that won't let her transfer her pension to her domestic partner when she dies. Hester is dying of lung cancer, and her partner, Stacie Andree, stands to lose the couple's home unless the local Board of Freeholders relents. The latest news is not good: At their meeting this week, the five Ocean County freeholders watched a video of an obviously frail, bald Hester using a breathing tube and asking that they change their minds, and then they said they had no intention of changing county policy before Hester dies.

Their decision, while tragic and infuriating, isnt too surprising -- the all-male, Republican, "pro-family" board shrugged its collective shoulders at Hester's in-person appeal at a meeting last month, too. One board member said granting Hester's request would, that's right, "violate the sanctity of marriage."

Have something to say to the Ocean County freeholders? Here's their e-mail address: CountyConnection (at) co.ocean.nj.us. And the Big Gay Picture has more suggestions for how to help posted here.

By Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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