MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A small group of people gathered in front of Maplewood Town Hall on Monday at about 12:30 p.m. to join Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca and Maplewood Township Committee Member Dean Dafis to raise the transgender flag, and to stand in solidarity with transgender people everywhere.

The transgender flag raising in Maplewood was in conjunction with other rallies nationwide against the Trump administration’s proposed policies to roll-back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights laws.

“We can’t let this administration erase a whole group of people,” said DeLuca, adding that the Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as based upon the gender listed on a person’s birth certificate. In effect, this would erase about 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves otherwise, and remove their civil rights protections.

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Shannon Cuttle said it is sad “thousands of youth had to hear, once again, they should not be valued and not exist” due to the actions intended by this administration. "They will not be erased by this administration. We support them now and always," said Cuttle.

"We will not back down as allies and supports of the LGBTQ community. We will be there for them and will stand with them and they are truly not alone," shared Cuttle.

Dafis announced that as the flag raising was during the middle of the day when many people were at work and unable to attend, there would also be a candlelight vigil Monday night at the rainbow crosswalk at the corner of Oakview and Valley Street.

Dafis invited all to join together "in solidarity with transgender recognition, dignity, and equality."