I try to be grateful for the abundance of the blessings that I have, for the journey that I'm on and to relish each day as a gift.
We need to have a purpose in this life. I'm pleading with you, I'm begging with you to do the right thing. And do it not for the sake of how it will impact your own lives, but only for the sake of doing the right thing.
We are losing sight of civility in government and politics. Debate and dialogue is taking a back seat to the politics of destruction and anger and control. Dogma has replaced thoughtful discussion between people of differing views.
Firefighters, police officers and state troopers place themselves in
harm's way every day, every week, every year.
Of all my false identities, the strategies in my campaign to be accepted, being a sworn Republican is the hardest to explain. In my later political life, I can only be described as a Kennedy Democrat, eager to pursue equitable treatment for the least fortunate.
When I came out publicly, some photo editors had a field day searching for pictures of me with a limp wrist or some other stereotypical gay signifier - as though, after decades in the public eye, they'd suddenly come across a trove of shots where I looked like a Cher impersonator.
I have two extraordinary daughters, who, I can say proudly, are doing very well in school and in piano. Daughters are a father's joy.
More than anything else I recall being, or trying very deliberately to be, a perfect child. Not a Goody Two-shoes, but a kid who did good, who worked hard and met every expectation. I strove to achieve in the excessive way that psychotherapists tend to regard with concern.
We need to seek wise leaders who will seek common ground among Americans instead of dividing us further for political gain. As citizens, we must embrace those who embrace ideas, thoughtfulness, civility and kindness to others no matter what their political beliefs.
I've never been much for self-revelation. In two decades of public life, I always approached the limelight with extreme caution. Not that I kept my personal life off-limits; rather, the personal life I put on display was a blend of fact and fiction.
I realized that I had screwed up my life living different parts of my life in different places. I wasn't whole. I wasn't integrated. I wasn't a complete person. And after that, came out, spent some time at a psychiatric hospital.
The arc of American history almost inevitably moves toward freedom. Whether it's Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, the expansion of women's rights or, now, gay rights, I think there is an almost-inevitable march toward greater civil liberties.
I am resigning because my secret leaves the governor's office vulnerable.
I do not believe that God tortures any person simply for its own sake. I believe that God enables all things to work for the greater good.
I'm on the board of a national group called Faith in America. It's designed to fight religious-based bigotry.
No relief was forthcoming from my then-Catholic faith, which said the practice of homosexuality was a 'mortal sin' subject to damnation.
But being in the closet uniquely assisted me in politics. From my first run for the state legislature until my election as governor, all too often I was not leading but following my best guess at public opinion.
Being gay is a fundamental part of my being - the core of who I've always been, and the thing that I had repressed and run from all my life.
Throughout my life, I have grappled with my own identity, who I am. As a young child, I often felt ambivalent about myself, in fact, confused.
As a child, recognizing my difference from other kids, I went to the local public library to try to better understand my reality. Back then, many library card catalogues didn't even list 'homosexuality' as a topic.
At a point in every person's life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one's soul and decide one's unique truth in the world, not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as it is.
For me, living in the closet corroded my ability to have an honest, open relationship with my God, my loved ones, my constituency and myself.
Civil union is less than marriage. Marriage is a sacred and valued institution and ought to be afforded equal protection.
As I climbed the electoral ladder - from state assemblyman to mayor of Woodbridge and finally to governor of New Jersey - political compromises came easy to me because I'd learned how to keep a part of myself innocent of them.
I'm enjoying prison ministry, particularly with the women in Hudson County Jail who have suffered tremendously in their lives.
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