Gay rights activist, Ocean County Lt. mourned

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? An Ocean County police officer is being remembered for her work as a gay rights activist.

Lieutenant Laurel Hester, 49, died Saturday at her Point Pleasant home from lung cancer complications. Hester fought Ocean County officials to have her benefits passed on to her domestic partner Stacie Andree. Officials at first denied Hester?s request, but recently ruled in her favor. She lived a few short weeks after the historic decision from the county.

New Jersey's Domestic Partners Act, which was passed in 2004, gives state employees the right to name their domestic partners as beneficiaries. However, it does not require local and county governments to do the same.

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