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Meet Spouses Marsha Shapiro and Louise Walpin

7:00 PM Tonight's facilitators will be Liz and Gordon! Open Talk is GAAMC’s easiest discussion to join. Just show up! This group is designed to be as open and friendly as possible. The discussion is facilitated by a team of experienced leaders including Gordon, Sherri, Kerry, Liz and Elias. This loose and lively one-hour discussion is held in our Library, and welcomes people of all ages, gender identities and orientations to talk about topics derived from everyday life. Welcome.

8:00 PM: Marsha Shapiro & Louise Walpin met, fell in love and brought their children together to form one loving family. They never imagined they’d be at the heart of New Jersey’s fight for marriage equality, but events conspired to put them in the forefront of events that led to their legal marriage, the first under New Jersey’s new Marriage Equality Law on October 21, 2013 at a few moments past midnight. Come hear their story and learn how regular folks are the ones who make history!

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  • Liz

    Can one be an adult and still be a poster child for marriage equality in NJ? Marsha and Louise were very candid about their journey through a religious marriage, although not yet recognized, civil unions, domestic partnership, and finally, legal marriage at 12:01 AM October 21, 2013! It was a delight to hear them jockey back and forth with their stories initially as "Kate and Ally" and finally as "Thelma and Louise."
    Charming, articulate, inspirational.

    1 · February 27, 2014

  • Andy S.

    Marsha and Louise were terrific. I so enjoyed seeing them again. While Louise talked about the joy of knowing that young LGBT people may now grow up without the weight of knowing they can never marry, it dawned on me just how different life must be for today's youth. Sure, life can still be tough, but fewer and fewer people have to carry the burden that they are second class citizens.

    February 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    My wife and I were married for 41 years and we did the same thing. We joined our families together in 1973, 5 children and us. I lived my own story and we were married in Canada in 2004, came back to NJ and were not considered married. We went through the domestic partnership, and then when civil unions were recognized our "marriage" was recognized as a civil union. My wife, Betty, died 2010 in April, and I have been become her widow(er) attempting to recreate my own life. There is nothing written about grieving, mourning that truly explains the sense of loss of identity and life, the sorrow that lessens but never goes away.

    2 · February 11, 2014

    • Andy S.

      I hope you can make it to GAAMC. We would to hear your story!

      1 · February 11, 2014

    • Sherr R.

      I'd like to echo Andy, Anita, and welcome you to join us on Monday nights. Betty's memory is important. She'd want you to grieve and then find ways to help others just like you. When you have a Monday free, come and see what we're about. GAAMC is 41 also, turning 42 in September and our members have shared joy and tears, laughter and sorrow and most important their life experience. Hope to see you soon!

      1 · February 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm sorry I couldn't make the meeting yesterday, I had a dinner commitment with my niece and grand-niece, they are Betty's blood family. It is wonderful that even after her death we remain close and connected. I'm so blessed to have such a loving relationship with them. Some of my grief is related to the hard fight we had to be a family and now when we won, she wasn't here to see it. It just adds to my sorrow. How I would love to have been married again in NJ being so proud to have her be mine again, and again, and again. I've written some articles on grieving as a lesbian which I think is more intense because so much of our lives was lived fighting for equality and some of it was hard on our children. No-one ever prepared me for this kind of loss. While I'm very busy, it is busy for the sake of being busy, and life feels less than and very different. Glad that others can marry and share the beauty of their love.

    1 · February 25, 2014

  • Sherr R.

    Theirs is a story of true love and it continues to inspire.

    February 24, 2014

  • Andy S.

    Looking forward to hearing from NJ's "First Wives."

    1 · February 11, 2014

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