Garden State Equality Proudly Supports Governor Murphy’s Historic Appointment of Nation’s First Openly Gay Commissioner of Department of Environmental Protection
Appointment of Shawn LaTourette to Acting Commissioner of the NJDEP in Governor Murphy’s Cabinet is welcomed at a time when New Jersey has no LGBTQ legislators
ASBURY PARK, NJ – Today Governor Phil Murphy made a historic announcement with the selection of Shawn LaTourette to serve as the Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. LaTourette, who presently holds the number two position in the NJDEP, is believed to be the only openly LGBTQ person to lead a state or federal environmental protection agency in the nation.
“At a time when the New Jersey legislature is empty from any representation for the LGBTQ community, this appointment is welcomed and appreciated. It speaks to Governor Murphy’s commitment to diverse inclusion in our government,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “Highly qualified LGBTQ people like Shawn are ready to step up and serve in leadership positions in the Garden State. With LaTourette positioned to now become Commissioner, he would become the second openly LGBTQ person included in Murphy’s cabinet.”
“Shawn LaTourette’s years of work at the NJDEP spearheading clean air and water initiatives as well as environmental justice and clean energy have established his as a ‘perfect fit’ in this position,” said long-time Garden State Equality executive board member Thomas Prol, an environmental attorney at Sills Cummis & Gross law firm and former state bar president. Prol continued, “He is highly respected in the legal community, and his dedication to visionary environmental stewardship is impressive and why NJDEP is again viewed as one of the vibrant and impactful environmental agencies in the nation.”
About Garden State Equality
Established in 2004, Garden State Equality (GSE) is the largest LGBTQ advocacy organization in New Jersey and one of the most successful statewide civil rights organizations for the LGBTQ community in the nation. Our services include education, advocacy, policy work, and training informed by racial, economic, and disability justice advancement.