(Eatontown, NJ) Yesterday, after a national spotlight was shone on Rep. Chris Smith’s anti-equality agenda by an exclusive story from the Washington Blade, the Smith campaign finally spoke up, albeit in defense of his bigotry. Smith’s campaign released the full 50 minute audio of the incident at Colts Neck High School where Smith clearly laid out his anti-gay, extreme beliefs to an auditorium full of high school students.


In the full audio, which Smith’s camp seems to think exonerates him from the charge that he believes children would be better off in an orphanage than in the home of a gay couple, Smith is asked by a student: “In 1999, this is a while ago, but you voted ‘yes’ on banning gay adoption in DC. Do you still stand by that?” Smith’s response: “ I would vote the same way, frankly, as I did then.”


“Well Chris Smith, if you would vote to deprive children from the opportunity to find a home with a loving gay couple, what options are you leaving these kids? Either get adopted by a straight couple…or stay in an orphanage. So yes, it is fact you do believe kids should stay in an orphanage rather than be adopted by a loving LGBTQ family. Thank you for proving my point,” said Josh Welle on Thursday.


The audio released by the Smith campaign goes even further to expose Smith’s exclusionary vision for this country. Smith says at one point “My belief is squarely…that marriage is between a man and a woman.”


“I fought on the front lines in the Navy after 9/11 to protect this Constitution and the liberties it guarantees for all people, not just some,” said Josh Welle. “Maybe if he had held a town hall in the last 25 years, Smith would know that the people of the 4th Congressional district will not stand for injustice and inequality. Not in 2018. Not in Central Jersey.”


Welle is scheduled to hold his third town hall later today that is focused on celebrating “American Heros” at the Freehold Independent Fire Company. Welle also has scheduled a rally at Rep. Chris Smith’s official office in Freehold next Wednesday, where he will be joined by members of the LGBTQ community and a number of local gay and straight parents who have adopted children.


Below is a copy of the release sent out by the Smith campaign:

Political Dirty Trick Video Against Smith

A video that can best be described as a political dirty trick presents a false narrative of Congressman Smith’s discussion with students at Colts Neck High School last May. The video, presented as a “gotcha moment” and widely circulated by his Democrat political opponent and his supporters as a way to raise money, includes only part of Smith’s remarks and purposely cuts out his comments that do not fit with the lie that is being presented.

Smith, who released the full one-hour tape (click here), struck back hard today pointing out the distortions and calling on the media to reveal who released the doctored tape and for his Democrat opponent to stop raising money on the lie.

“Anybody can twist your words and make false representations when they splice up a tape,” said Smith who is strongly favored to win his reelection race this year.

“It is despicable that someone thought they could score political points by distorting the truth and raising false questions about my record and the full range of topics discussed at the assembly.”

At no time does Smith express the view that children waiting to be adopted or in foster care are “better off in an orphanage” than placed with same sex parents.

Earlier in the full tape a student says to Smith, “So you think orphanages and foster homes would be in the better interest of the child?”.  Smith responds, “No. Lord no.”

(Click here for an enhanced version of this exchange)

In the discussion with students, Rep Smith explained that adoption requires the work of many agencies, including faith-based adoption agencies.

Smith, who is a co-author of the original federal adoption tax credit which is now up to $13,000 per family, also said the gay adoption issue was “legally moot.”

“She is free to adopt,” said Smith when asked if a woman in a gay relationship could adopt.  “The issue is legally moot at this point especially with the Supreme Court decision, she’s free to adopt,” he said.

Also left out of the doctored tape is Smith’s expressed concern that some state and local governments are excluding adoption agencies that are run by the Catholic Church which have been forced to close their doors owning to their belief that the best interest of the child means a child deserves to be placed with a mother and a father, if at all possible.

Having worked on efforts to help expedite the adoption process for constituents and helped secure adoption tax credits, Smith understands the difficult process, the long wait times, and high costs involved in adoption.

He knows that adoption is an urgent issue that affects over 400,000 children in foster care and potentially more as the opioid crisis puts more children’s lives in danger and believes that all resources, including faith-based ones, are needed to help these children.

If the link to the full audio does not work from the Smith press release, it can be heard in its entirety here

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