Garden State Equality applauds Booker’s performance
2020 candidates gathered for the first presidential forum since 2007 on LGBTQ issues. Presidential candidate U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey’s remarks were roundly celebrated by LGBTQ community advocates, and organizations, including Garden State Equality. The LGBTQ Presidential Forum was hosted in Cedar Rapids, Iowa by The Advocate, The Gazette, GLAAD, and One Iowa.
“Long before he got to Washington—and long before defending equality was popular—Senator Booker was on the frontlines of our movement,” said Garden State Equality executive director Christian Fuscarino. “From sparring with Governor Christie over marriage equality to taking on President Trump’s transgender military ban, our community has no better defender today than Senator Booker.”
“There is an urgency in this moment in America as we sit here right now we still deal with profound injustice, said Booker during his opening remarks. “There are still people who live in fear just because of who they are. This is work that government alone can’t do.”
For his entire career in public service, Booker has been a devoted champion of the LGBTQ community. “We all have an obligation, no matter who we are, to deal with the persistent injustices of our country so that when we pledge allegiance to that flag and say the words ‘liberty and justice for all’ they are not aspirational.” said Booker. “They are the truth and experience of every American.”
Booker was a fierce proponent for LGBTQ rights and marriage equality while the Newark, NJ Mayor. He was ahead of political leaders on both sides of the aisle say LGBTQ activists. In 2007 during his first year in office, Booker ceremoniously raised the gay pride flag outside Newark City Hall for the first time in the city’s history. In 2009, he established the Newark LGBTQ Concerns Advisory Commission. In his final year in office, Booker officiated the first legal marriages for same-sex couples at midnight ceremonies on October 21, 2013.
In the U.S. Senate, Booker was the primary sponsor of the Equality Act, which provides full non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans; the legislation passed the House of Representatives in May 2019. On the Judiciary Committee, Booker has held every Trump nominee to task for their anti-LGBTQ history, and he’s defended transgender military service members against the Trump discriminatory administration’s ban.
“No matter who Americans choose to challenge the anti-LGBTQ Trump-Pence administration, we’re excited to see the strongest slate of pro-LGBTQ candidates of our lifetime running for President, and we’re proud to have one of Jersey’s own among them,” said Christian Fuscarino at GSE. “We’ll be working around the clock to support whoever wins and ensure LGBTQ Americans are protected.”
Presidential candidates will gather again on Thursday, October 10 for an LGBTQ Town Hall hosted by CNN and the Human Rights Campaign.
Senator Cory Booker’s full remarks from the LGBTQ Presidential Forum can be viewed here.