Gay Gov. 'Ripped From Headlines'

Wed. November 10, 2004 12:00 AM by

NBC's 'Law & Order' which likes to say its stories are "ripped from the headlines" this week will air an episode with uncanny similarities to the real life story of gay New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, and the issue of same-sex marriage.

The storyline, to be broadcast tomorrow night, follows the sensational murder of the wife of a fictional Connecticut Governor.

Spadework by the show's detectives turns up a corrupt developer whose business and romantic links to the governor cause the official to step down in shame.

However, the district attorney is stymied when he can't get a third man to testify against the crooked business executive. The man claims to have married the developer and is immune from testifying.

The claim forces the D.A to take the crucial gay marriage issue before the state's Supreme Court.

"The show's writers have handled the issue with clarity and fairness, while not shortchanging the classic "Law & Order" format. I'm proud to have been a part of this rich, revealing episode," said Chris Sarandon who plays the defense attorney in the episode.

'Law & Order" has tackled gay plots a number of times in other episodes of the highly rated show, including one in which a gay police officer is killed by criminals, after fellow officers refuse to respond to a help call from the officer.

In August New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey stunned the nation when he called a hastily arranged news conference to announce that "I am a gay American", and that as a result of an extramarital affair he was resigning from office.

Later in the summer a top McGreevey fundraiser, real estate developer Charles Kushner, was sent to prison for making illegal campaign contributions and trying to obstruct a campaign finance probe.

Kushner also was the link between McGreevey and Golan Cipel the man wit whom the governor allegedly had the affair.

On Monday McGreevey, who steps down Nov. 15, gave his farewell address in which he said he does not apologize "for being a gay American."

Same-sex marriage is before the courts in New York state. Several suits are challenging New York laws which prevent gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

Beth Shapiro New York Bureau
© 2004

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.