2 OPINIONS: Barnegat Township Committee lets virulent anti-LGBT comments go unanswered

ABOVE: Screenshot from the Barnegat Township website

OPINION: Barnegat Township Committee lets virulent anti-LGBT comments go unanswered

A letter to the editor by Tom Houle of Barnegat, NJ

I recently read the prolonged anti-LGBTQ statement that Mayor Cirulli gave last month, where he said his motivation was to “protect the children”.

On September 3rd, 2019, I attended the Barnegat Township Committee meeting. The meeting was also attended by Barnegat youth from both our middle school and high school. Mayor Cirulli welcomed a man to the microphone, from Lakewood, who went on to refer to some of those youth as “an abomination”, and there were a lot of other horrible things said in the course of the public session. Neither the Mayor nor the other Council members spoke up to any of it.

Mr. Mayor, clearly you are only interested in protecting some of the children. I wonder where you draw the line to determine who is worthy of protection?

Instead of a constructive conversation to build unity, we get rhetoric of hate.

I also wonder how many of the other people who spoke out in support of your agenda were brought in from out of town?

It was a sad day for Barnegat.

Barnegat’s democracy is in jeopardy

A letter to the editor by Marianne P. Clemente of Barnegat, NJ

Democracy is in jeopardy here in Barnegat. Last week two instances occurred causing great concern on the health of our democracy and the willingness of people to have an open mind.

First: Our elected representative for CD3, Congressman Andy Kim, was scheduled to speak on August 29th at Mirage, as approved by their Board of Trustees. His agenda was to talk about his activities in Washington and to listen to residents’ comments and concerns. The Mirage Board rescinded their invitation because they received several threatening emails and calls from residents who were outraged, demanding that Rep. Kim not be allowed to speak. The cancellation of this event is disgraceful and those residents should be ashamed of themselves. Congressman Kim is our duly elected representative who is trying to make himself accessible to his constituents, which is the exact opposite of what his predecessor did.

Second: On 8-6-19 at the Barnegat Township Committee meeting, Mayor Al Cirulli “preached” a 20+ minute “sermon” opposing new legislation for middle/high school curriculums to include instruction on the political/economic/social contributions of people with disabilities and the LGBTQ community. One would have thought we were in church having “fire and brimstone” thrown at us. Cirulli said this law was “…an affront to Almighty God.” At that meeting I reminded him that in this country we have a separation of Church and State. The Mayor frequently violates that requirement and invokes the name of Jesus Christ in many of his speeches. He is the Mayor representing a governmental body and religion has no place in our government. In fact, he has refused to officiate over gay marriages. Officiating at marriages is a mayoral function, and if he refuses to perform that function, he should resign. In fact, I would call for his resignation now in view of his complete intolerance of the LGBTQ community.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the authors’ only.

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