Image via Atlantic City.
It hasn’t been an easy couple of years for Atlantic City, the world-famous seaside resort area that hugs the southeastern coast of New Jersey. Headline after headline spelled D.O.O.M in bright casino lighting for the city, but just as the lights began to fade to black, Atlantic City’s resident casinos and population began to pave a new path—with or without gambling.
The death-knell came after casinos began falling like dominos. Probably the biggest shock came after Revel, a $2.4 billion casino, shut its doors. Once seen as the saving grace for the boardwalk and the area’s dying gambling culture, the casino’s ultra-high cost and delayed opening, alleged bad business decisions, and a major lack of community integration/understanding, killed the casino off within two years. This was in addition to the closing of the Showboat Casino Hotel, a 23-year-old hotel; Atlantic Club, a 34-year-old institution; Trump Plaza, a 24-old, though recently renovated property; all of which made headlines spelling the demise of the once-great vacationland. As news spread across the nation, Atlantic City gained a Detroit-like reputation (an analogy used by the city’s openly gay and openly republican mayor, Don Guardian).
Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…
Categories: Gay Travel, New Jersey atlantic city, bears on the boardwalk, borgata, caesars, Gay Atlantic City, gay New Jersey, gay travel, harrah's, jeff guaracino, larry seig, LGBT atlantic city, Miss'D America, sandblast, tropicana
Image via Passport
Asbury Park is a pretty special place. Not your ordinary Jersey Shore town, there’s a quirky and freewheeling spirit here, and a GLBT influence that’s become part of the very fabric of the town. Once one of the great seaside resorts, it fell on hard times in the 1970s, and it was only through the infusion of LGBT creativity, devotion, and money that it became what it is today: a dining destination so good that New Yorkers will come down just to have a meal here, and a music magnet that attracts performers and fans from all over, perhaps hoping to be or see the next Bruce Springsteen, who was a major figure in putting his adopted hometown on the map.
It doesn’t have the glitz of Atlantic City or the cutesy Victorian appeal of nearby Neptune. What it does have is an artistic and independent spirit that constantly surprises, making Asbury (as locals tend to call it) the most interesting and singular town along the Shore. It also has, of course, the Atlantic Ocean and an alluring boardwalk, which is still the primary attraction here. Take some time, though, to explore the rest of the town: this is one city with a thriving life away from the boardwalk. It’s only a little over an hour from New York or Philadelphia, so you can just visit for a day or a long weekend.
Keep reading over at Passport magazine.
Image via www.nj.gov/governor
The New Jersey Superior Court judge that ruled that the state of New Jersey must allow same-sex marriage by October 21 has refused to delay her ruling after Governor Chris Christie requested a delay. Christie said a delay “would simply allow the state to continue to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest.” Judge Mary Jacobson refused to delay allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry on October 21st because, according to the AP, “[gays and lesbians] would suffer many hardships of constitutional magnitude if the stay were to be issued, but the state has not demonstrated how it would suffer in any meaningful way if the order is enforced,” the AP .
Christie, though, continues to go against the majority of New Jerseyians (62%) who are in favor of marriage equality. He will most likely appeal the ruling to the state supreme court.
“While this is an amazing decision, it is far from over,” Garden State Equality Executive Director Troy Stevenson said via an email statement. “We still must fight on both fronts, the legislative route and the courts. The fastest way to win this year is still to pass marriage equality through the Legislature.”
Image via Passport
New Jersey Democrats are pushing their Republican colleagues to legislate same-sex marriage. Their aim is to pressure moderate Republicans to join them in their effort to override Governor Chris Christie’s gay marriage veto. Democrats in New Jersey require Republican votes to override any of Christie’s vetoes. While some Republicans support gay marriage, they are hesitant to make the attempt to override the governor. Senate President Steve Sweeney, who promised that an override vote would be scheduled, has not said when. No override has been attempted since the governor vetoed a gay marriage bill last year.
Gay rights activists in New Jersey are pursuing court actions simultaneously to win the right for gays and lesbians to marry. New Jersey is among just a few states that recognize civil unions, and give same-sex couples marital benefits, but not full marriage equality. [NBCPhil]
Jacob Rudolph and His Father on Joy Behar Say Anything! Screen Cap via CurrentTV.
A high school senior from Parsippany, New Jersey, Jacob Rudolph is using his new-found YouTube fame for coming out in front of his entire class to garner more than 27,000 signatures calling on Gov. Chris Christie to back pending legislation banning the use of controversial gay “conversion” therapy on minors. This horrible practice attempts to ‘cure’ the sexual orientation of LGBT children.
“Every single day, kids across the state are forced to lie or feel shame about who they really are for fear of being rejected by their families and friends, or worse, being forced to undergo harmful ‘therapy’ intended to fix what is not broken,” said New Jersey teen Jacob Rudolph, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “I’m incredibly lucky to have parents who love me just the way I am. I hope Governor Christie agrees with my parents, and the more than 27,000 people who have signed my petition, that all New Jersey kids deserve to be loved and protected.”
Video of Rudolph after the jump…
Categories: gay families, Gay Rights, Gay Travel change.org, Chris Christie, conversion therapy, gay New Jersey, gay rights, gay teens, Governor Chirstie, Jacob Rudolph, new jersey, parsippany, youtube
Pope Benedict XVI (photo by Jeffrey Bruno)
This just in from NBC in Philadelphia:
“The Newark archbishop is urging more than one million Roman Catholics in northern New Jersey, especially Catholic politicians, to defend marriage against those he says would ‘deconstruct or radically alter its meaning’. In a pastoral statement Tuesday, Archbishop John Myers said equating same-sex marriage to marriage as ‘it has traditionally been understood’ damages the institutions of both marriage and family.’ He says redefining marriage would “enshrine in law a non-optimal way to raise children as equivalent to that which is best.’ Myers says Catholics who disagree with church teachings on marriage should refrain from receiving Holy Communion.” Read the entire story here.
Image via Facebook.
We’re big fans of Atlantic City, having spent a few weekends here and there and here and there, so we’re obviously thrilled that the only, full-time gay bar located in a casino is celebrating its one-year anniversary this weekend. A little over a year ago, when we caught wind of the changes going on over at the historic Resorts Casino Hotel, we had to get the inside scoop so we sat down with the gaming industry’s first marketing director devoted strictly to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, Joel Ballesteros who was super-excited to announce the birth of the then-called Prohibition nightclub. Now, after a name change, the club is called Pro Bar, and its attracting a fun crowd of locals and tourists alike. This weekend’s celebration will feature all sorts of exciting events, including performances by stand-up comedienne Judy Tenuta, and the vivacious Chrystal Waters . There will also be a drag bingo brunch, giveaways, and even more special appearances. Get all the info about this weekend and special discounts by clicking here.
photo: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com
This just in. Chris Christie has vetoed Gay Marriage in New Jersey. Gay and lesbian Americans are appalled by his actions. Discrimination of this sort has no place in the United States of America. Our hearts go out to everyone in New Jersey and we vow to keep fighting for Marriage Equality until it is passed on a Federal level.
Read the CBS News report here.
Image via Facebook.
Yesterday afternoon in a 41-33 vote, the New Jersey Assembly passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriages, despite warnings from Governor Chris Christie that he will veto such legislation. While most Republicans, including Christie, feel that the issue of same-sex marriage should be left up to voters, Democrats say that marriage is a civil right and should “not be subject to referendum.”
The bill is now in the hands of Christie. Come on New Jersey, make your voices heard! [ABC]