MONTCLAIR – In a renewed effort to win Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) equality and end bullying in New Jersey, Garden State Equality and the Human Rights Campaign announced the formation of a broad coalition of LGBT, civil rights, labor, progressive, and faith organizations.
The Garden State Coalition for Equality will kickoff at a Town Hall meeting this Tuesday Feb. 19 at the Garden State Equality headquarters. The coalition will work to win support for marriage equality on both sides of the political aisle and in communities across the state. With bullying remaining a pervasive problem across the country, the new coalition’s equality agenda will also include anti-bullying work in schools.
“We at Garden State Equality are extremely excited to be forming this new coalition,” said GSE Executive Director Troy Stevenson. “Together we will bring full equality to New Jersey. Together we will ensure that all New Jersey couples have the freedom to marry the person that they love. Together we will ensure that every young person in a New Jersey school is protected from bullying and harassment.”
“We are on the cusp of equality in New Jersey and the Garden State Coalition for Equality will put us over the edge,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “With support of marriage equality at an all-time high, and the fight to end bullying escalating across the country, we will reach out to our friends on both sides of the aisle and touch the lives of LGBT youth across the state.”
In order to win marriage equality, the Garden State Coalition for Equality will work to gain legislative support of marriage equality legislation on both sides of the aisle. The coalition will mobilize supporters of equality across the state to contact legislators and conduct a non-partisan voter registration drive to get marriage equality supporters to the polls.
Even with a strong and inclusive anti-bullying law on the books, New Jersey’s students face bullying and harassment at alarming rates. The coalition has hired a bullying prevention manager who will lead the Bullying Resource Center. The center will launch a website and hotline, produce a school climate report and resource mapping of bullying in the state, create bullying prevention training models, and convene a statewide stakeholder and youth summit.
The growing list of coalition members includes: Garden State Equality, Human Rights Campaign American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, Communication Workers of America (CWA), Equality Federation, Freedom to Marry, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and The Trevor Project.