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America's first
gay governor gets official portrait

America's first
gay governor gets official portrait

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Jim McGreeveey, the gay former governor of New Jersey, will have his official portrait hung at the statehouse in a private ceremony this summer.

The gay former governor of New Jersey, James E. McGreevey, will have his official portrait hung at the New Jersey statehouse in a private ceremony this summer, the Associated Press reports. McGreevey and his partner, investment adviser Mark O'Donnell, plan to attend the unveiling, which will happen in July or August, McGreevey spokesman Jonathan Capehart told the AP. The date will be set after the state budget is adopted on July 1.

McGreevey's highly anticipated memoir, which is sure to include his stunning revelation in front of the nation in August 2004 when he proclaimed himself "a gay American" and resigned his office, is due in stores September 19. A national book tour is to include a stop on the Oprah Winfrey Show. McGreevey, who is barred by contract from talking to the media before the book's release, began writing the memoir, titled The Confession, shortly after leaving office in November 2004.

David Rebovich, director of the Rider Institute for New Jersey Politics in Lawrence, told the AP that the timing of the unveiling makes sense given the sensational nature of McGreevey's departure from office. "An unveiling in the middle of the summer is a nice visit by McGreevey but not an extended stay. I think that's a good thing for all concerned," Rebovich said.

The former governor commissioned artist Chen Yanning to paint his official gubernatorial portrait, and he sat for the picture after leaving office. The work has been ready to hang for about a year. The $25,000 painting, by the artist who painted former governor Christie Whitman's portrait, was paid for out of gubernatorial transition funds. (The Advocate)

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