Alert to what he sees as a new era of hate, Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality, told
InsiderNJ that someone earlier today smashed the glass front door of the organization’s office in Asbury Park.
The LGBTQ rights leader – one year on the job as executive director come April – said he suspects the incident is the consequence of an emboldened intolerant population in this country.
“Early today, around 1:50pm, I was in the office working and preparing for an event we had when two individuals kicked the door where the rainbow flag hung,” Fuscarino said. “Considering the attackers hit the door exactly where the rainbow flag was affixed on the Garden State Equality door, we believe it was an obvious act of hate against New Jersey’s LGBT community. We fully expect the police should & will investigate it as an attack on all LGBT people.
“This is Trump’s America we are living in,” he added. “People feel validated. It’s gross.”
Fuscarino said Garden State Equality is working overtime.
“We have invested so much in school trainings, older adult services, health care work, but now we are being thrown back into participating aggressively in politics to protect the very rights we already fought so hard for. So it’s been an interesting two months to say the least,” he told InsiderNJ.
Since the passage of marriage equality in New Jersey in 2013, many people think most of the battles are won, the ED acknowledged.
And some are.
“But the majority of our budget goes into programming in schools, hospitals, older adult homes, etc,,” he told InsiderNJ. “We are a staff of four and three of my staff are funded for programs. Programs are hard to sell to people who were involved with us for political reasons. It’s not sexy like marriage equality, but it’s important work. Politically? Well, we fought the Boy Scouts of America on their Trans policy and we won. It’s a big deal, but again, it’s a Trans issue so that’s why I think of a lot of our community wasn’t engaged. We wrote guidance for the DOE to adopt, well over a year ago, about Trans students. They still haven’t adopted that.
“Assemblywoman [Valerie] Huttle has introduced an education bill that would solve that problem,’ Fuscarino added. “We worked with her closely on all her Trans bills. The battles we face in Trenton are not big attractive wins. The bills are very much in the weeds and it’s hard to get people excited about things like that. We have some health insurance bills introduced right now that we are supporting. They are really important, especially for Trans people. At the same time we even have a bill about having the proper gender identification on a death certificate…lol, see what I mean? Very in the weeds.