Tag Archive: glbt

Mark Zuckerberg, Why are you raising money for Chris Christie, the man who vetoed ME in New Jersey?

It’s a good question, don’t you think?

Next month, Facebook’s Zuckerberg (and benefactor to Newark Schools) is hosting Gov. Christie at his Palo Alto house, to raise money for our Governor’s re-election campaign.

Now, that’s Palo Alto, California, a state where a majority of people support marriage equality – just like New Jersey. Zuckerberg is a newlywed himself, and bride Priscilla is the co-host of the Christie funder, believed to be the very first time Zuckerberg has ever opened his home to raise money for a candidate. I’d be shocked to my shoes if more than just a few of Zuckerberg’s personal friends, Facebook employees and hell, Facebook friends were among the people working against the LGBT rights movement.

And Christie? Last year, New Jersey saw astonishing movement in the NJ marriage equality movement, as Senate President Steve Sweeney reversed his prior reticence and became a leader in the legislature on this movement, helping to pass measures in both houses so that the NJ Legislature could finally catch up with its constituents on this issue. But Christie dashed the hopes of hundreds of thousands of my gay friends and neighbors when he exercised his veto on it.  

Does that even fit with the company you built, Mr. Zuckerberg?In 2010, Facebook made national news for compensating LGBT employees for the additional cost of benefit-related taxes borne by same-sex couples, taxes that opposite-sex married couples don’t have to pay. Now, that is forward thinking.

Garden State Equality’s members, both gay and straight, cannot understand why you would look to make somebody like Gov. Christie your ally, why you would work to return him as governor, a politician who would deny equality to so many of our families.

Tell Mark Zuckerberg you want him to cancel his fundraiser for Chris Christie.

And you’re going to hear from us – we have a lot of people, and we have some mad social media skills, too.

Babs Casbar: newly-elected member of DNC Executive Committee

Warm congratulations and a Blue Jersey Woo Hoo! to Babs Casbar Siperstein, who broke ground again just a few minutes ago by her election to the DNC’s Executive Committee. That vote came at the DNC Fall Meeting in Chicago. Babs, the first out transgender person in the DNC’s history now rises to help lead the national Democrats, joining its top-most leadership committee.

Babs CasbarBabs has been a member of the Blue Jersey community since 2006. Last night, before the vote, I wrote about Babs and her journey to bring understanding of transgender issues to the Democratic Party. She’s absolutely a ground-breaker. It’s great news.

There are now two New Jerseyans on the DNC Exec. Committee. Babs joins Tonio Burgos in that work. Babs sent us a jubilant email a few minutes ago. But we’re looking forward to hearing more of this story when she gets back from Chicago.  

Jen Beck: Trenton’s Fair-weather Friend to the Gays

One look at 12th district Senator Jen Beck and it's perfectly obvious why she's got “Gay Man's BFF” written all over her.  

She's fabulous, gorgeous and has a big long pony tail that I secretly want to French braid.  She's also a bit of a diva.  Basically what we gays affectionately call a  “fag hag.”  Straight out of central casting.   For better or worse, she just gives off that vibe.

But here's the deal, she's not a true friend to NJ's LGBT community as proved by her NO vote on Marriage Equality.  To make it worse, as a member of the Judiciary Committee Sen. Beck shares a rather unfortunate distinction of being one of only 4 NJ Senators to vote against marriage equality TWICE.  For those of y'all keeping score, YES it does make it twice as bad.

Frankly i was surprised and hurt when she voted NO (for reasons described in paragraph 1) but in retrospect it makes sense: Governor Chris Christie was on the lookout for a LtGovernor at the time and Beck was widely considered to be on the shortlist.  Voting for Gay rights was not gonna score any points with Christie who's admittedly “not a fan” of equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians.

So it was newsy when Jane Roh reported Senator Beck's evolving position on equality.  In her own words:  

“There are lots of reasons why I ultimately voted no. My position has evolved. I spent a lot of time on this issue, and at the end of the day, I would support it if it came before me.”

Naturally we welcome her change of heart.  Change is good.  

You know what else has changed?  Beck's district.  

more below… 

The Night the Oscar went to South Jersey


So it’s Oscar night tonight.

Hollywood will be properly and predictably tweezed, tucked, plucked, corseted and bauble’d. It’s almost like election day for pretty people. And the eyes of the world will be watching.

I haven’t watched the Oscars in a few years, at least since 2008 when Freeheld, the Laurel Hester Story was nominated.

The night before the 2008 show, Freeheld’s director Cynthia Wade was the guest on BlueJersey BlogTalkRadio.

Needless to say, when Freeheld won the top prize, the BlueJersey community was sent into a collective delirium, a feeling that’d last for much of 2008 as the progressive community piled up victories in Trenton, Washington and (at least once) in Hollywood.

Heady times, indeed. And on this date, it’s worth remembering, A)because Laurel Hester deserves to be remembered and B) it’s okay to contemplate battles past. Even the ones we won.

The acceptance speech is after the flip, but check out the Movie trailer, below. And let’s make this an Oscar-themed openthread, shall we?

Trenton in a Minute. Jubilation Edition

This was posted just under the news roundup, so I’m pulling it up top again. – promoted by Rosi

Some days in Trenton are better than others. For the sake of thousands of kids who are gay (or fat or smart or whatever else might get him/her bullied) yesterday at the state house was quite possibly life-saving.

28 Senate sponsors for the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights

Some more fantastic news on our bipartisan Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights.  (See video below)  Two weeks ago , as you know, the bill was introduced with 43 Assembly sponsors – now up to 46, five more Assembly members than needed for passage.  Today was the first day since then that the Senate had a quorum and that the chief Senate sponsors, Barbara Buono, Diane Allen and Loretta Weinberg, could officially introduce the bill.  In truly awesome news, the bill was introduced today with 28 Senate sponsors, seven more Senators than needed for passage.  The sponsors include 11 of the Senate’s 16 Republicans.  We hope to have additional news on the bill’s progress soon.  This legislation is going to help every student whose life has been made hell by bullying.  We are overjoyed.

Chris Christie and GLBT youth

Welcome to Blue Jersey, Kari.  – promoted by Rosi

Last week, Chris Christie said of the two college students who posted images of their roommate, Tyler Clementi, on the internet, shortly before Clementi’s suicide, “I don’t know how those two folks are going to sleep at night.”  

Maybe this was a hate crime.  Maybe it was just the utterly thoughtless actions of two individuals who couldn’t tell the difference between right and wrong.  But what is certain is that Christie, whose election almost certainly defeated the marriage equality bill in NJ, “felt in his gut that marriage should be between a man and a woman. He even tried to think of it differently, he said, and it just didn’t fit.”

It just didn’t fit.  Well, something about Tyler Clementi “didn’t fit” for Dharun Ravi and Michelle Wei, either, which is why they felt justified violating his privacy by posting a romantic encounter online.  Intolerance doesn’t have to be wearing a white hood or frothing at the mouth.  Simple quiet statements of disgust, and the timidity of our elected leadership to stand up, not only for what “fits” but also for what is right, create the environment in which individuals like Ravi and Wei can ruin a young man’s life just by trying to be “funny.”  

GSE v NOM at State House

Promoted by Rosi

The National Organization for Marriage clowncar juggernaut was inTrenton today. The notoriously well-funded, (anti-gay) N.O.M crew is on tour spreading rancor from state to state.

The good folks at Garden State Equality (I'm a member) did a great job of showing up our angry rivals, although I grudgingly concede the style points to their tricked-out Winnebago festooned with stock photos of faux families.

The real action was inside, where we had /real/ families!


My solution to Governor Christie’s neglect? STEP UP! DO SOMETHING!

If you’re in Collingswood anytime soon, go check out  the library.  Then glance up and marvel at the craftsmanship and dedication that went into the  shiny brand new ceiling.  And then spare a thought for the people who made that progress happen: the members of Garden State Equality, whose south Jersey headquarters is located a few short block away.

In light of Governor Chris Christie’s drastic budget cuts to libraries, it’s up to the community to “step up” and fill the gap caused by an administration whose values and priorities do not include things like local libraries or food banks. (Click the link.  I dare you.)

Garden State Equality volunteers re-furbish Collingswood Library

In this photo, members of the gay rights group Garden State Equality give their our weekends to community service projects that recognize Gov. Christie’s neglectful ways.  

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, DO CALL!!!!

Promoted by Rosi.

Please join me in calling our Senators to urge them to repeal the military’s so called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that discriminates against gays and lesbians who want to serve their country in the US Military.

I’ll spare you the reasons why discrimination sucks and simply remind you that this issue demands your urgent attention.

  • Lautenberg’s contant info is (202)-224-3224
  • Menendez is at (202)-224-4744.

    Timing is everything in Washington and now is the time to light a fire under our Senators to vote AND to fight to repeal this retrograde policy.