Fulton and Gnesin met in 1995 at a community hymn-singing event at Watchung Presbyterian Church in North Plainfield. Fulton and her friends arrived late, stood in the back of the chorus and sang harmony while everyone else sang melody.
“I saw this woman look over my shoulder and smile at me,” Fulton said. “From Penny’s point of view, her choir memebers and all the other folks were singing melody. She finally heard these harmonies coming from the back and that was me, and she got up and asked if she could come sing with us.”
They were a couple by the end of the year. Four years later, they held a commitment ceremony with no legal status. Then, they registered for a domestic partnership when they became legal in New Jersey in 2004. Then, when New Jersey passed civil unions, they held another ceremony.
Fulton (born 1959) is a marketing director in Madison, N.J., for Pfizer. In 2011 President Obama appointed her to the military academy’s Board of Visitors; she is the first openly gay or lesbian member to serve on its board. She is a founding board member of OutServe, an organization in Washington for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual service members and veterans. She graduated from West Point in the class of 1980, the first to include women. She was honorably discharged from the Army as a captain and was last posted to Flak Kaserne in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
She is the daughter of Clara Bevis Fulton and Benjamin D. Fulton of Lakeland, Fla. Her father retired as a mathematics teacher from Martin County High School in Stuart, Fla., where her mother, also retired, was the principal.
Ms. Gnesin (born 1960) is the director of Giving Voice, the women’s choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Monmouth County in Lincroft, N.J. She graduated from Rutgers.
She is a daughter of the late Sylvia Katz Gnesin and the late Oscar Gnesin of Long Branch, N.J. Her father retired as an electrical engineer from the United States Army Communications-Electronics Command in Fort Monmouth, N.J. Her mother retired as a history teacher from Long Branch Junior High School.
More LGBT Couples at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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