Garden State Equality (GSE) members and friends of the LGBT community protested today outside Rep. Scott Garrett’s CD 5 Glen Rock office. As GSE Executive Director Andrea Bowen exclaimed they were incensed at the report that Garrett would not donate to his party’s House fundraising arm because it supports gay candidates. However, he does support and sponsor the anti-LGBT “First Amendment Defense Act” which would prevent the federal government from taking action against individuals and businesses because of their religious beliefs. Andrea Bowen, also said, “We need to show that Rep. Garrett’s hateful actions are not New Jersey values.” GSE calls upon Garrett to bring a halt to his parade of hate.
Posters cried out: Less Garrett Better Tomorrow. Equality: The American Dream. Garrett is anti LGBT, Anti Woman and an Equal Opportunity Bigot. Hate is not a family value. Let’s be Scott Free.
Rev. DuBreuil in her invocation said, “Our God loves us all. Bigotry should not exist in your creation. Help us to push back against this dying gasp of bigotry.”
Speaking for the Gay Mens’ Work Group of NJ Health Planning Group, Ray Welsh talked about how Garrett’s promotion of bigotry within his district makes more gay people stay closeted and is reflected in the higher incidence of HIV there.
The attendance included people from GSE, National Organization of Women, PFlag, and the Gay Activist Alliance of Morris County. Republican CD 5 challenger Michael Cino who opposes this discrimination is hoping, as unrealistic as it might seem, that Garrett will soon be forced to resign and that there will be a special election. Adam Siverstein, consultant for Democratic CD 5 candidate Josh Gottheimer who has already raised $633,000, mentioned that to be successful here requires large TV buys – an expensive proposition calling for several million dollars.
Also in attendance were reporters from the Record, Star-Ledger and NJTV. Not in attendance was Scott Garrett.