BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS/AP) — The Republican mayor of a small Ocean County town is urging residents to oppose a state law that requires middle and high schools to instruct students on the contributions of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. Barnegat Township Mayor Alfonso Cirulli on Tuesday called the LGBT political movement “an affront to almighty God.”
The Asbury Park Press reports the 60-year-old former assistant principal opened the township committee by urging residents to pressure Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and the Legislature to reverse the law that was signed on Jan. 31. Cirulli said the government “has no right to teach our kids morality.”
Cirulli said “we’ve crossed over the line into absurdity.”
“Now is the time for the righteous to stand up for their rights,” the mayor said.
The Asbury Park Press reports some in attendance denounced his comments.
“I understand that everyone is entitled to their belief and their religious ideas, … but what I have a problem with is when you bring them into a public forum,” Bridget Nunn, a mental health clinician who counsels LGBT youth, told the Asbury Park Press. “As public officials … you have to be careful about what message you’re sending to these kids I’m counseling, who are already in your schools feeling like they’re isolated, alone and not getting the support they need.”
The law applies to the 2020-21 school year.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)