NEW LOOK. SAME FOCUS.

GARDEN STATE EQUALITY ANNOUNCES LIST OF BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

NEW JERSEY’S LARGEST LGBT ORGANIZATION AIMS TO ELECT THOSE SUPPORTIVE OF LGBT CAUSES, WILL FIGHT TO OUST GARRETT & SMITH FROM OFFICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact
Fuscarino@GardenStateEquality.org

347-455-1429

 

GARDEN STATE EQUALITY ANNOUNCES LIST OF BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

NEW JERSEY’S LARGEST LGBT ORGANIZATION AIMS TO ELECT THOSE SUPPORTIVE OF LGBT CAUSES, WILL FIGHT TO OUST GARRETT & SMITH FROM OFFICE

 

OCTOBER 13TH 2016 – Garden State Equality (GSE), New Jersey’s largest organization dedicated to the rights of the LGBT community, today announced a bipartisan list of Congressional endorsements, while also noting they will fight every second of the next 26 days to ensure that Congressmen Chris Smith and Scott Garrett do not return to Washington.  Smith and Garrett’s blatant discrimination towards the LGBT community, a mindset more fitting the 1950s than 2016, makes them the only incumbent New Jersey federal representatives not to be endorsed for reelection by GSE.

“The men and women we are endorsing today have shown a determination and willingness to work on issues of equality, fairness, and improving the overall quality of life for the LGBT community.  They are our allies on both sides of the aisle, people we know to be good public servants who are always willing to work with us, not against us.  While not every candidate we endorse has a perfect record on our issues, we recognize that progress means not castigating those who are with us 95% of the time instead of 100%,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of GSE.

The organization responsible for passing over 200 laws to make New Jersey a safer and equal place for LGBT people also endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. While this does not come as a surprise to many, the organization found it important to highlight the amount of LGBT leadership Clinton has working on her campaign and her record of advocating for LGBT rights around the world.

“In the entire history of presidential elections, there has probably never been a clearer choice for president, both for the LGBT community and the country as a whole.  Donald Trump would set the rights of our community back decades, to a time when we were forced to remain in the closet and had few to no protections under the law.  Marriage quality – gone! Transgender protections – gone! Rights for our Muslim brothers and sisters, our undocumented friends – gone! Trump would be a nightmare, and that’s without even addressing his vice presidential nominee, perhaps the most anti-LGBT candidate to ever be placed on a national ticket,” said Fuscarino.

GSE praised the work of the congressional candidates they are endorsing, noting their steadfast support on issues ranging from marriage equality to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to fighting for the rights of the transgendered community.  At the same time, they noted the need to retire for good representatives such as Chris Smith and Scott Garrett.  These two incumbents have a long and well documented history of bigotry and opposing the LGBT community at every turn.  Their positions not only fail to represent the people of their districts, but are a slap in the face to plain common decency and the idea of treating all people as equals.

“We’ve come so far and worked so hard to get where we are in today’s politically charged environment. It’s important that GSE continue the work by endorsing candidates that support social justice.  We have taken that action today, but we will not just be sitting back and hoping for the best.  Every second of the next four weeks will be devoted to electing these folks to office, and to ensuring that the outdated, bigoted views of Chris Smith and Scott Garrett never shame our great state again” said Luanne Peterpaul, Garden State Equality Action Fund Chair

Openly LGBT candidates were also the highlight of today’s announcement as the organization encouraged it’s 150,000+ constituents to help elect people who reflect the community. The organization highlighted a little over a dozen local candidates who are openly LGBT.

“I refuse to sit back and allow people that will strip the rights of so many people I love get elected. We have fought too hard, for too long. We simply cannot afford it. Lorna and Josh are dedicated, hard working people who will do right both for our community and all those they represent.  They are exactly the kind of people New Jersey needs representing it in Washington,” said Lee Rosenfield, Garden State Equality Action Fund Board Member

In an effort to directly call attention to Congressman Garrett’s bigoted history, Garden State Equality will be organizing a “No Hate In Our State” Rally in Glen Rock on October 18th. The organization hopes this will raise awareness to his blatant homophobia and hatred of gays, especially within the Republican party.

Here is the full list of endorsements and openly LGBT candidates:

 

Hillary Clinton (D) – President

Donald Norcross (D), US Congress, NJ-1
Frank LoBiondo (R), US Congress, NJ-2
Thomas MacArthur (R), US Congress, NJ-3
Lorna Philipson (D), US Congress, NJ-4
Josh Gottheimer (D), US Congress, NJ-5
Frank Pallone (D), US Congress, NJ-6
Leonard Lance (R), US Congress, NJ-7
Albio Sires (D), US Congress, NJ-8
Bill Pascrell (D), US Congress, NJ-9
Donald Payne (D), US Congress, NJ-10
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R), US Congress, NJ-11
Bonnie Watson Coleman (D), US Congress, NJ-12

Christopher Hillmann – Hasbrouck Heights Council
Amy Quinn – Asbury Park City Council
Vincent Solomeno – Monmouth County Surrogate
Sue Fulton – Monmouth County Freeholder
Carol Rizzo – Neptune Township Committee
Nina Davis – Bloomfield City Council
Kelley Smith – Neptune City Council
Michael Galluccio – North Haledon City Council
Rebecca Williams – Plainfield City Council
Bob Bresenhan Jr. – Rahway City Council

ABOUT GARDEN STATE EQUALITY: Garden State Equality is New Jersey’s statewide advocacy and education organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

GSE, in collaboration with community partners, led efforts to ensure non-discrimination for transgender and gender nonconforming people in NJ; pass the most comprehensive anti-bullying law in the country; end sexual orientation and gender identity/expression change efforts in NJ (sometimes called conversion therapy); and bring marriage equality to the Garden State.

With marriage equality secure, GSE is focusing on protections for youth, transgender people, and seniors; and our work on those issues is informed by racial, economic, and disability justice concerns. GSE is working on campaigns that create safe environments for youth; improve health services that meet LGBT community needs; and ensure respectful treatment of seniors. GSE also supports New Jersey’s activist community by bringing an LGBT lens to the shared struggle for justice.