NUTLEY, NJ - What first seemed like an ordinary Thursday evening celebrating the township's past, turned into one in which history will be made.
As dusk fell on the township, children could be found enjoying classic Good Humor Ice Cream confections at the Nutley Museum, the more mature crowd filled the Nutley Public Library for a screening about the community's role in the second World War, and a small group of residents gathered in Nutley Town Hall for the Board of Commissioners meeting.
The meeting itself was not expected to be anything ground-breaking, just the typical stuff one expects to hear in a meeting in suburbia. During public comments, a Nutley parent nervously approached the microphone to address the assembled commissioners. Mayor Dr. Joseph P. Scarpelli Commissioner Mauro Tucci, Commissioner Tom Evans, Commissioner Alphonse Petracco, and Commissioner Steve Rogers were all in attendance.
Rhonda Frobose, a local parent, explained that one of her children is LGBTQ+, and she learned that taking what she calls a "live and let live approach" to issues of equallity doesn't work." She said she " was open to LGBTQ+ issues but was passive. It was through their (her kid's) experience that she came to understand that passivity is harmful because there’s nothing to counteract the loud voices of hate.
Frobose sought formal recognition of the LGBTQ+ community to send a message to that community that they are a welcome part of Nutley. Formal recognition would also send a message that, according to Frobose, hate has no home in Nutley.
Frobose was the last to speak, and the meeting formally closed right after she finished her statement. Commissioner Petracco was the first elected offiicial to approach her, immediately afterwards, commissioners Tucci, Evans and Scarpelli followed offering words of support. Mayor Scarpelli told Frobose, and everyone within earshot, that "Nutley is a welcoming community" and set up a time to communicate to get more details about her idea.
Frobose told TAPinto Nutley that "I’m so overcome with emotion because I know this show of support will have a positive impact for so many in our town. There are a lot of good people in Nutley.No more passive acceptance. Lesson learned, we need to drown out the voices of hate by showing our support loudly and proudly"
She further stated "Thanks to Mayor Scarpelli and the Commissioners, Nutley will go on record, making it known publicly, that the Township of Nutley supports and embraces its LGBTQ+ residents and celebrates June as a month of PRIDE.
A formal proclamation is expected to be introduced at the Tuesday June 18 meeting of the Nutley Board of Commissioners. That meeting will take place on the third floor of town hall at 7 p.m.
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