BY CHRISTIAN FUSCARINO
During Pride Month, we reflect on the those who have laid the groundwork for our annual celebration of LGBTQ+ visibility and equality. As we remember and honor the activism of icons like New Jersey’s own Marsha P. Johnson, we are reminded of hard-fought progress the LGBTQ community has achieved. Over the years, our movement has garnered increasing support from our leaders in Trenton but, it was not always politically convenient to speak up for LGBTQ people. Even when it was considered political sabotage to do so, few in the New Jersey Legislature worked harder to protect the rights of LGBTQ New Jerseyans than Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle.
Throughout her career, Assemblywoman Huttle has been a stalwart of LGBTQ civil rights, sponsoring landmark legislation to protect and uplift our community. Her trackrecord of landmark legislation includes a mandate for LGBTQ inclusive curriculum in public schools, codified protections for LGBTQ seniors from discrimination, and a law that has ensured transgender people the right to affirm their gender on their birth certificate.
While other legislators may vote the right way, Assemblywoman Huttle has consistently put in the work and truly advocated for New Jersey’s LGBTQ community. Whenever we come to meet with Valerie and discuss the most pressing issues impacting the LGBTQ community, she comes with a long list of policy solutions to get the work done.
At a time when LGBTQ youth – specifically transgender youth – are facing attacks in legislative bodies around the country, we need bold leaders who will stand up and work with us to protect the rights of all LGBTQ New Jerseyans. This critical moment in our history is exactly why Garden State Equality Action Fund felt an urgency to support Assemblywoman Huttle’s bid to replace the retiring progressive champion, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.
Considering her extensive pro-LGBTQ work in the Assembly, there is no better candidate to represent New Jersey’s 37th District in the Senate. That’s why Garden State Equality Action Fund was proud to endorse Assemblywoman Huttle’s candidacy to represent District 37 in the New Jersey Senate. With zero representation from the LGBTQ community in New Jersey’s legislature and our allies dwindling, we encourage all supporters of equality to vote for Valerie Huttle in the June 8th Primary Election. We cannot afford to lose another champion of equality.
Christian Fuscarino is the Executive Director of Garden State Equality