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Former N.J. Gov. Jim McGreevey reflects on 10 years since he came out

Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey tells woman inmates: "You can't keep doing what you've done before."
By Frances Burns   |   Aug. 12, 2014 at 7:27 PM   |   Comments

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JERSEY CITY, N.J., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Jim McGreevey says the decade since he came out as a "gay American" and resigned as governor of New Jersey has been a "messy journey" to a new life.

McGreevey , 57, now works with women held in the Hudson County Jail in Kearny, N.J., and supervises job training programs for Jersey City. He lives in Plainfield, N.J., with a longtime partner.

"It's been a messy journey, but I believe this is where I was always meant to be. Just in terms of my faith, the need to constantly be focusing upon service is probably the healthiest," he told the New York Daily News.

On Aug. 12, 2004, McGreevey, flanked by his parents and his second wife, Dina Matos, stood in his outer office and told reporters "My truth is that I am a gay American." He announced he was leaving the position he had held for less than three years.

McGreevey's hand was forced by Golan Cipel, an Israeli national he had named to a state position. Cipel's lawyer was threatening to file a harassment lawsuit.

His resignation was followed by a bitter divorce from Matos and a book, "The Confession." McGreevey, who was brought up as a Catholic, also spent some time studying for the Episcopal priesthood.

McGreevey has a daughter with each of his wives and does not discuss the impact his actions had on them. He said he has no plans to marry his partner, although they wear blessing rings to honor their relationship.

At a meeting with women imprisoned at the jail he had words that appeared to come from his own experience: "You can't keep doing what you've done before, that's a powerful lesson. Sometimes, that's a painful lesson because you're walking away from people you care about. But in order to be godly, you have to do things differently."

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