"Hope will Never Be Silent": LGBTQ Pride Flag Raised in Middlesex County

Guests and officials get ready for the flag-raising at the Middlesex County Courthouse. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson (D-12) speaks about the importance of inclusion and community. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Community members gather with their elected representatives to celebrate Pride Month. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
The rainbow flag brightens a dreary morning in New Brunswick. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
Green, Spadoro, Watson Coleman, Armwood, Danielson are uplifted by flag-raising. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
How Gay Pride Month gets celebrated in New Jersey. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick
South River candidate Ruell Calvin Brown and LGBTQ Caucus Vice-Chair Rich Green proudly celebrate inclusion. Credits: TAPinto East Brunswick

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - On June 12, 2016, 49 men and women were murdered in the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida in a terrifying and bloody mass shooting that targeted members of the LGBTQ community.  "Terrorist" is a term sometimes used without meaning anymore, yet it denotes the intention of someone not only to kill,l but also to create a culture of fear.  It is an attempt to keep people imprisoned, closeted, and quiet.  Today in New Brunswick with the raising of the gay pride rainbow flag at the Middlesex County Courthouse, the terrorist, who shot these Americans and wounded 53 others, was not remembered.  The fear he hoped to create was replaced by support and a sense of unity here in central New Jersey and around the nation.

Michael Spadoro, Chairperson of the Middlesex Democratic Organization's LGBT Caucus, welcomed about three dozen county residents  to the flag-raising event: " This is the first time we have a flag-raising in Middlesex county - one of the most diverse in the country - and we hope to see it continue from now on.  Events like these bring us one step closer to equality. It's great to know that our representatives 'have our back' here in Middlesex County." He then provided a brief history of Pride Month which was celebrated for the 26th time in Asbury Park two weeks ago.

Spadoro was then joined by Ruell Calvin Brown, a candidate for South River Town Council, in a recitation of the names of those killed in Orlando, to whom the event was dedicated.

Sign Up for E-News

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) spoke to those assembled, describing her visit to the Pulse night club during the Presidential  campaign season last fall.  She noted that she was "inspired" by the messages of hope, love, and unity expressed by the visitors to the site.  

Watson Coleman then went on to link the shooting with the recent gun assaults at the UPS facility near San Francisco and the attacks on Republican politicians in Alexandria, VA.  "We have guns in the hands of the wrong people.  The type of guns used in these attacks should not be available.  We need common sense gun laws." (The attack in Orlando was carried out by a single shooter using a Sig Sauer MCX .223-caliber rifle and a Glock 17 9mm semi-automatic pistol which were purchased legally.  The attack on the Senators during a baseball practice las week involved a single shooter with an SKS 7.62-millimeter caliber rifle, also purchased legally.)

"We are pausing for America, " said Watson Coleman, "We should celebrate diversity.  We should take these moments to acknowledge the contributions of a diverse community.  We are at our best when we bring our talents together." 

In a reference to some current concerns of the LGBTQ community, Watson Coleman continued, "We must remember that we are a country of laws.  We are working to insure civil rights in public accommodations.  We don't take inclusion lightly.  Government has a distinct role in in protecting us and lifting us up.  We want to lift hope, commitment, and solidarity for all people."

Vice-Chair of the MCDO LGBTQ Caucus Richard Green III took the podium next, adding, "As a life-long resident of Middlesex County and a gay man, today means a lot to me. Yet, it reminds me that the hard work continues." Green quoted gay activist Harvey Milk, the San Francisco Councilman who was assassinated in 1978, saying, "We must show persistence, resistance, and commitment.  Hope will never be silent."

Michael Spadoro then invited everyone - "Let's go out and make some history!" - to exit the building to raise the flag in front of the courthouse.  Freeholders Charles Kenny and Kenneth Armwood raised the banner, joined by Watson Coleman and Assemblyman Joseph Danielsen (D-17.)

Though the day in Central New Jersey was overcast, there was nonetheless a rainbow over New Brunswick.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Tue, March 20, 4:00 PM

Hannah Atkins Community Center, Plainfield

Homework Helper



Wed, March 21, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Academy's 4th Annual Spring Splendor ...


Wed, March 21, 4:00 PM

Hannah Atkins Community Center, Plainfield

Homework Helper


Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per ...

St. John’s Baptist Church in Scotch Plains Welcomes A New Pastor

March 20, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Reverend Shawn T. Wallace, Sr. has been appointed to St. John’s Baptist Church (2387 Morse Avenue, Scotch Plains), as the new senior pastor.  

Reverend Wallace comes from Peoples Missionary Baptist Church of Newark, where he served as pastor for 13 years. He began his ministry at the age of 19, when he responded to the voice of God and submitted his ...


March 17, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2018 – Despite her rhetoric, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, failed Wednesday to deliver on her promise to make schools safer for our children.

The two-term congressperson was one of only 10 representatives that voted “nay” Wednesday afternoon on the STOP School Violence Act of 2018.

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a ...

Former Rumson High School Student, 19, Arrested Possessing MSR-15 Patrol Rifle, Silencer, Explosive Chemicals

March 19, 2018

MONMOUTH, N.J. -  A former Rumson high school student was arrested in Ithaca New York. Maximilien R. Reynolds, 19, was charged with Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device/Silencer, False Statement in Acquisition of a Firearm and False Statement in Required Firearm Record. Specifically, he is alleged to have possessed an MSR-15 Patrol Rifle, 300 rounds ...

La tienda de comestibles Canela de Plainfield acogerá el evento de la tienda Healthy Corner

March 19, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - EZ Ride y la ciudad de Plainfield se han asociado una vez más con Canela Grocery and Deli para organizar un evento gratuito para los residentes que ofrece muestras gratis de bocadillos saludables, cupones, una rifa saludable de canastas e información nutricional. Atlantic Health también estará en el evento con una unidad móvil para proporcionar ...

Celebrando el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Estimados Plainfield,

Yo fui criado por dos mujeres poderosas e generosas, y me pasaron principios y valores que me han guiado durante mi vida entera. Mi mama persiguió la oportunidad y busco una manera de proveer para su familia. Ella dejo la isla de Barbados para poder trabajar en los hogares de los Estados Unidos, creando e allanando un camino para que sus hijos lo ...

Innovador Plainfield

Estimados Plainfield,


El crecimiento requiere evolución, la evolución implica cambio, y el cambio conduce a la innovación. Plainfield está evolucionando. Nos estamos adaptando para cumplir con los requisitos del renacimiento que está formando el futuro. No podemos esperar cambio positivo y sostenible si continuamos con el mismo ritmo de las ...

Distrito escolar de Plainfield anuncia ganadores de Feria de las Ciencias

PLAINFIELD, NJ - La Oficina de Tecnología, Ciencias e Instrucción de las Escuelas Públicas de Plainfield anunció a los ganadores de la Feria de Ciencias 2018, en una recepción celebrada el jueves 1 de marzo de 2018 en la Escuela Primaria Clinton.

Veintiocho de los 178 estudiantes en grados 4-12 recibieron los máximos honores después de presentar ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Lilli DeJong by Janet Benton

Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton (Doubleday, 2017)


“It's said that every woman's painful labor is God's punishment. Eve ate an apple, and God pours wrath on every mother. So the Bible tells it.” (p.320)

The story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, which is the Biblical explanation for the extreme pains of childbirth, casts women in the role of ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)


Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...