Today is election day in New Jersey. Polls open early and close at 8 pm. At the moment, it looks like Republican Chris Christie will once again rule the Garden State, no matter what. Gubernatorial hopeful Barbara Buono, a progressive democrat, is devoutly pro- LGBT but appears to wither under Christie’s notoriety. Nonetheless, we have to vote into office her and many others who can protect and advance the banner of LGBT rights in New Jersey.
From this months Editors IN BOX:
Veteran readers of Out In Jersey will recall many articles extolling the virtues of voting. “It’s your duty as an American.” “Without your vote, LGBT rights will lose ground.” As Obama’s term as President comes to an end, we can add a warning about history’s tendency to see voters swing conservative after a strong progressive is elected. You’ve heard it all before. If you’re a new reader, you’ll hear it again and again and again. It’s not that we don’t have anything else that’s important to write about. It’s that voting is one of the few ways to affect change in this country. That’s important enough for a whole magazine’s worth of lectures.
I’m going to try threats this time. Imagine a world where LGBTs meet in secret to avoid the police force, where the words “transgender rights” are on too few lips— and nowhere close to the public discourse, where AIDS is an immediate death sentence, and where hate crimes against LGBTs are commonplace. That America is only a few years behind us. In fact, hate crimes against LGBTs are increasing just across the Hudson in New York City.
These elections are no joke. They won’t be the most important in your lifetime. But just think about LGBT homeless youth before you decide not to vote. Consider the binational couple fighting non-inclusive marriage laws. Think about your own right to health, happiness and love. You know by now that not voting is tantamount to laying on your back, exposing your belly and asking the far right to walk and stomp all over you.
As we have pleaded, cajoled and even demanded, Out In Jersey wants you to vote. We will make it easy. In October vote for Democrat Cory Booker for U.S. Senate. In November vote for Democrat Barbara Buono for Governor and every Democrat on the ballot for New Jersey Assembly and Senate.
With two election days this Fall, we understand the increased burden of taking the time to visit the voting booth. It puts a crimp in your busy life. But imagine the weeks, months and years that Chris Christie will have to enforce his anti-woman, anti- LGBT agenda across the Garden State and beyond.
Even though Barbara Buono’s chances are considered slim to none as we go to press, we can still vote for her and every Democrat on the ballot for the State House seats that are all up for grabs. But first, we must vote for a solidly pro-LGBT Cory Booker for U.S. Senate. This may counteract Governor Chris Christie’s future run for President.
THINK about it— and “vote, vote, vote.”
Thomas Basgil Jr. is Out In Jersey magazine Editor. He can be reached via our contact page at the bottom of the home page