Equality TownhallIn a renewed effort to win LGBT equality and end bullying in New Jersey, Garden State Equality and HRC 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 7:00 pm at the Garden State Equality headquarters. Panelists include HRC Field Director Marty Rouse; Shannon Cuttle, GSE's managing director for anti-bullying initiatives; Udi Ofer, executive director of ACLU-NJ; Barbra Siperstein, director of Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey; and Assemblyman Timothy Eustace (D-38).

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.  

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. 

A 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.

Check back for more details about the fight for equality in New Jersey and read more on the bullying and harassment LGBT youth face by reading our report Growing Up LGBT in America.

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