To the Editor:

Earlier this week, at the Barnegat Township Committee meeting, Mayor Al Cirulli took over the meeting to espouse his homophobic, fear-mongering beliefs that the inclusion of the political, economic and social contributions of the disabled and LGBTQ communities in school curricula would “indoctrinate” the students of Barnegat.

There is much evidence that demonstrates that information is valuable, not detrimental, to creating an inclusive, open, and caring community.

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More importantly, this is a clear abuse of his elected position as a Committee member and as  Mayor. The scripture quotes and statements such as, “God would hold politicians accountable for passing such laws,” are also a violation of the separation of church and state and have no business in a township meeting.

Equally disturbing was the silence that ensued from most of the other Committee members sitting there on the dais with Cirulli. John Novak spoke in support of Cirulli’s comments while Linda Kropf, Pat Pippi, and incumbent Al Billie, up for re-election in November, sat there silently.

Silence means consent. The Committee members all had a chance to do the right thing and chose to sit there.

 I can only hope that the people of Barnegat recognize that the current Township Committee is not inclusive, does not value all equally and that the residents deserve better, much better.

Peg Houle, Democratic Candidate for Barnegat Township Committee

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