If Assemblyman Parker Space is pining for the title of ‘New Jersey’s Most Bigoted Legislator’, he’s certainly a frontrunner. In a not-so-shocking development, Assemblyman Space was one of the only assembly members to vote against two key pieces of legislation for the LGBTQ+ community.
One bill, which earned a ‘no’ vote from all District 24 officials, required school districts to include diversity in their curriculum and “encourage safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments for all students regardless of race or ethnicity, sexual and gender identities, mental and physical disabilities, socioeconomic status, and religious beliefs.”. Senator Oroho and Assemblymen Space and Wirths seem to take issue with inclusivity and acceptance. LGBTQ+ youth have higher rates of anxiety and depression, and are victims of bullying in schools. Teaching acceptance to New Jersey’s youth is a great tool to prevent bullying and other issues early on. Now that this legislation has passed, hopefully Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Space and Assemblyman Wirths can join New Jersey students and get a lesson in diversity.
The other piece of legislation Assemblyman Space voted no on, which Assemblyman Wirths simply abstained from, also passed and will solidify the rights of LGBTQ+ people in long-term care facilities. LGBTQ+ people deserve to continue to live as their authentic selves, and should not have to worry about receiving lesser care due to their gender or sexuality. It’s simple, opposing life-saving legislation like this is both dangerous and homophobic.
“Our district 24 legislators, Senator Oroho and Assemblyman Wirths have proven they are not allies to the LGBTQ+ community, or any community that is not white, male and heterosexual time and time again,” said Zoe Heath, the founder and executive director of Sussex County Pride. “Assemblyman Space, however, takes the cake with his public displays of ignorance, whether it’s posing with the confederate flag or blatant homophobia. These bills are of incredible importance, not just to LGBTQ+ community, and we’re grateful they passed despite his opposition.”
We deserve better from you, Assemblyman Space. Bigotry is a choice, and we’d be more than happy to help educate you into un-learning your prejudices. Until then, we’ll continue holding you accountable.