South Orange and Maplewood React to President's Declaration
Locals responded to the President's ABC interview
Monica Pierre-Gordon unfurled a rainbow flag on Wednesday evening, hanging it from the front porch of her South Orange home. Pierre-Gordon was celebrating President Barack Obama's statement of support for same-sex marriage.
"I hope to see a lot more flags out tomorrow," she said, noting that the President's statement came in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts that will air on ABCs “Good Morning America" on Thursday.
Deborah Goldstein, Patch "Over the Rainbow" columnist said, "The President admitted that he's been evolving over the past few years as has our nation, but I honestly never thought that he would "come out" in favor of marriage equality during his presidency. His support gives me hope that the Supreme Court will be able to follow suit and mandate equality on a federal level. Yesterday's vote in North Carolina to ban same-same marriage and civil unions must have further proven to President Obama that federal legislation is necessary when state governments continue to put equality to a popular vote."
Goldstein, who lives in South Orange with her partner and their two sons, added that, personally, "I'm thrilled, but I know I won't be able to fit in my wedding dress anymore. I might have to do some shopping."
South Orange Village President Alex Torpey supports the President's annoucement. "I have performed both marriages and a civil union, and look forward to the day that I am allowed to follow my moral beliefs and extend the same rights to same-sex couples that I'm allowed to extend to everyone else." Torpey adds, "I'm glad President Obama and Vice President Biden have both come out in support of this recently, and I continue to urge state legislatures and governors (including in New Jersey) to allow us the right to marry couples whether they are straight or same-sex."
Maplewood's Kirk Petersen says, "Same-sex marriage is the only issue where I've been to the left of President Obama. The President is late to the party, but I'm glad he's finally arrived."
While Goldstein noted in a blog post that South Orange and Maplewood stores and homes don't all boast rainbow flags, she finds the community welcoming. Last June saw the community's first Pride Picnic, held just days after New York State passed the Marriage Equality Act.
Alba Gordon, Pierre-Gordon's partner, recalled the parade as she arrived home to find the couple's rainbow flag flying. "It was a nice event," she said. "And this year will be even better, now that we have the President on our side."
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