For Immediate Release: 6/6/22
Contact: Phil Swibinski, (201) 978-8651
NJDSC, LGBTQ+ Caucus Chair Responds to GOP “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Attempt
Republicans in NJ Welcome Pride Month by Mimicking Florida’s Anti-Gay Legislation
TRENTON, NJ – As the country marks the start of June and the celebration of Pride Month, a time to commemorate the achievements and contributions of the LGBTQ+ community, New Jersey Republicans are claiming to support the community while at the same time pushing their own version of the infamous Florida “Don’t Say Gay” law. The New Jersey Democratic State Committee stands firmly with the LGBTQ+ community and condemns any attempt by Republicans to impose their extreme right-wing ideology on New Jersey schools.
“We do not need laws that censor conversations about the existence of LGBTQ+ people, because our community deserves the same respect and access to the rights that others enjoy and we should not entertain legislation whose sole purpose is to feed the right-wing base of an already radicalized Republican party,” said Lauren Albrecht, Chair of NJDSC’s LGBTQ+ Caucus. “This is just another attempt at codifying extremist Republican ideas that would ultimately cause direct harm to our LGBTQ+ students, teachers, and families. We have come so far in making sure the LGBTQ+ people of New Jersey feel welcome, safe, and seen, and while we still have further to go, we need to be adamant that we will not allow Republicans to roll back LGBTQ+ rights in New Jersey, and we will not allow them to target LGBTQ+ youth at the time they need support the most.”
Despite the overwhelming public outrage in response to Florida’s bill, data, and hours of testimony from LGBTQ+ students, families, and mental health professionals warning of the disastrous impacts legislation like this would have on LGBTQ+ youth, Republicans have, much like with their gun law attempts, made schools the target of their right-wing, extremist agenda.
“New Jersey Republicans can make a token gesture like putting a pride flag on their Twitter account or claiming to be for equal rights, but their record of embracing extreme conservative policies that unfairly target the LGBTQ community is abundantly clear,” said NJDSC Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr. “Democrats are the only party that embraces our differences and celebrates what makes all of us unique, and we will continue to do that while standing against Republican attempts to demonize the LGBTQ community.”
In 2021, 42% of LGBTQ+ youth considered suicide and 48% of LGBTQ+ youth reported they wanted, but were unable to, receive mental health support. These statistics are harrowing and removing schools as safe places for LGBTQ+ students would have disastrous effects. We cannot allow our students to bear the brunt of Republicans’ lack of empathy and inability to move with progress. Democrats in New Jersey believe that schools should be places that provide full support to every student and teacher that walks their halls.