July 8, 2008

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Gay Ulster couple to be married in California

Garrett, left, and Blotcher

MARLBLETOWN – Brook Garrett and Jay Blotcher have been a couple for 10 years. They live in Ulster County and in 2004 were among the first to participate in the same-sex ceremonies in New Paltz that were annulled by a state court two years later.

But now, with California performing same-sex marriages, they are headed to Norwalk, CA for a Friday ceremony to tie the knot.

Blotcher is excited about their special day. “The couples that were married in New Paltz as well as the couples that are getting married in California have been together for years,” he said. “This is a dream come true for people. This is the final, formal recognition of a relationship which the states have ignored and made invisible up until now.”

When they return home, they look forward to continuing their lives since Governor Paterson this spring signed an executive order affording all rights to same-sex couples married in other states that recognize those unions as heterosexual couples in New York.

“This is the real thing,” said Blotcher, who warned though, that a proposition on the November California ballot will seek to negate the new law. “We’re not out of the woods yet,” he said.

But, Blotcher said issue of health care directives hit close to home recently when Garrett needed medical attention and a caring staff at Kingston Hospital allowed Blotcher to stay with him as his health care proxy.

The couple will exchange their vows during a civil ceremony on Friday, July 11 at the County Registrar in Norwalk and then host a reception on Saturday evening in Los Angeles.

Blotcher is a publicist at the Culinary Institute of America and Garrett is director of conferences at Mohonk Mountain House.


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