Tag Archive: gay

This is what happened when bigotry showed its face in Franklin Township.

“The days of shaming people because of their identity are gone.”

              – public comment, Franklin Twp. School Board

Not long ago, bigots and fearful people could use intimidation to force gay people to live their lives fully or partly in the closet, afraid to lose a job, a position, a friend, and sometimes unable simply to be themselves.

Last night we witnessed an outpouring of community respect for Franklin Twp School Board President Ed Potosnak, who came under attack from board colleague Pat Stanley for a pro-equality speech made to Franklin HS grads on the very day of the SCOTUS marriage decision. Clear in the speech is that Ed is gay. As dozens of people stood to speak at this meeting – for 90 minutes – several things became clear:

(1) Homophobes still wanting to bully gay people – be warned. Ms. Stanley was told in no uncertain terms that she was the one whose words were unacceptable, and she is the one who isolates herself.

(2) The anti-gays often have other unsavory tendencies. Turns out Stanley also voted against the district’s breakfast program, prompting a wave of scowls in the room.

(3) Franklin’s home to all kinds of people. And parents, local leaders and residents want kids to know that whoever they are will be met with acceptance and support. That includes board presidents.

Adding (4) Stanley keeps referring to Ed’s words as “a political speech” or turning graduation into “a political event.” In fact, the marriage decision is history now and the future for graduating students. Related, noonstar takes issue with what I wrote – my calling Ed’s a pro-equality speech – and the objection is thoughtful and worth reading.

Ed Potosnak is getting married in a few days. And what this community gave him last night is better and more life-affirming than anything anybody could give him wrapped into a box with pretty paper and ribbon. Love wins in Franklin Township. And now let me add mine. Congratulations, Ed. You deserved it.  

Priest fired by Seton Hall University for NOH8 message comes out publicly as gay

Obviously, most of us in New Jersey look forward to the day when a friend, a relative, or even a well-known person coming out as gay doesn’t register on anybody’s outrage scale. Till it’s not news.

Till it’s not even Catholic news. Even Pope Francis made some big gay news recently (though you have to parse his words) though the kinda gross snap-back also happened. So it’s worth noting that the priest just removed from his post at Seton Hall University after his NOH8 message of inclusion on Facebook, just came out.

The University boasts that Catholic values shape the Seton Hall community, which apparently is something different from christian values, unless those values are sent down by the well-financed propaganda campaigns of right-wing christian lobbies and mega-churches.  

Garden State Equality, sick of Van Drew, endorses the Republican LD1 challenger

Are you surprised that Garden State Equality is endorsing a Republican vying to unseat an incumbent Democratic state senator? Don’t be. Democrats have been in the forefront of the fight for gay rights in New Jersey (as in other states), and many are the heroes of our recent win to recognize marriage equality.

But in the heavily contested LD1 District, GSE this morning endorsed Susan Adelizzi, the GOP challenger to Sen. Jeff Van Drew. Why? Because Van Drew failed to disavow a mailer sent not by his campaign but by a group backing his re-election. The group, called N.J. Family First (as though the rest of us put family last) drips with sanctimonious language, speaking of “values” as though the rest of us don’t have any. If this sounds familiar, you’ll be glad to know the group is a spinoff of New Jersey Family Policy Council, so you’ve probably heard its leader Len Deo talk this way.

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The piece, in baby pink, says Van Drew “supports traditional marriage and letting the people vote on the definition of marriage,” while Adelizzi-Schmidt “thinks she can take your vote for granted while cozying up to same-sex marriage proponents who denied your right to vote on marriage.” (Man, is that an awkward sentence).