With Oct. 21 marking the implementation of same sex marriages in New Jersey, Kathie Goldhahn and Donna Dobie became the first same sex couple to be married in Voorhees Town Hall.
While same sex marriages in New Jersey began as early as midnight on Oct. 21, special arrangements were made by the township for Goldhahn and Dobie to be married at 7 p.m. to fulfill the 72-hour waiting period for their marriage license.
“It was fated,” Dobie said.
Wanting to add Goldhahn to her health insurance plan, Dobie said the two had originally scheduled their civil union to be held at the township on Oct. 21 back on Sept. 21, just days before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that New Jersey must recognize same sex marriages on the date the couple had selected.
Even though Gov. Christie filed an appeal with the New Jersey Supreme Court, the court decided on Oct. 18 the implementation date for same sex marriages in New Jersey would not be pushed back until the appeal was heard.
Dobie said it was at that time they were contacted by the township and asked to come down to fill out additional paperwork for the marriage license. With her daughter, Sarah Dobie, at work, she and Goldhahn drove to the municipal building with Goldhahn’s boss serving as the
witness for their license application.
Both of Dobie’s children from a previous marriage, Sarah Dobie and Derek Dobie, were in attendance for their mother’s wedding, serving as witnesses to their union, as well as Sarah Dobie’s boyfriend Brandon Houltze.
“I’m happy that she’s happy,” Derek Dobie said after watching his mother and Goldhahn tie the knot.
Donna Dobie added that throughout the process, her children have supported her.
“If my children approve, then it must be right,” Donna Dobie said.
Both Goldhahn and Donna Dobie have been together for four years, after meeting through an online dating website.
“I wanted to give love one more chance,” Goldhahn said.
Goldhahn explained that she had been living with a friend when she began her online profile, after being married once before.
“There she was,” Goldhahn said. “I picked her out of all these girls.”
She explained that with many things in common, the two connect and stayed in contact.
Donna Dobie also added that she was drawn to Goldhahn’s caring nature, shown predominantly through her love of cats — of which the couple has two.
“I’m marrying my best friend,” Donna Dobie said prior to the ceremony.
Following the ceremony, performed by Mayor Michael Mignogna, the couple said they would be returning home to celebrate with Donna Dobie’s children and Houltze.
Being married once before, the two explained that they planned a low-key honeymoon this time, as they planned to leave the next day for Atlantic City for an overnight stay and a visit to Somers Point.