Tag Archive: Laurel Hester

Republican Values (updated, again)

A tragic story, which only Republicans could possibly make worse:

When lung cancer finally kills Laurel Hester — and it will, in a matter of months — she wants to know that her domestic partner, Stacie Andree, won’t lose their home in Point Pleasant.

That legacy, however, is in doubt.

Ocean County’s freeholders have refused to act on a request from Hester, an investigator for 23 years in the county prosecutor’s office, to provide domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian employees under a state law enacted last year. Without a resolution by the freeholders, her pension benefits cannot go to Andree.

The surviving spouse benefit amounts to about $13,000 a year and would be paid from the state pension fund. For Andree, an auto mechanic, the money would “mean the difference in whether or not she can stay in the house,” Hester said.

The domestic partnership law that was passed leaves it up to each local government to decide whether or not to provide the benefits to partners. But the Republican freeholders in Ocean County have blocked them from receiving benefits…