QUEER VOICES
08/09/2019 14:24 EDT

New Jersey Mayor Says LGBTQ Movement Is 'An Affront To Almighty God'

Alfonso Cirulli, mayor of Barnegat, New Jersey, is fighting a law that is trying to bring LGBTQ history to school curriculums.

A New Jersey mayor called the LGBTQ movement “an affront to almighty God” this week while opposing a recently passed law that requires schools to teach students about LGBTQ history.

Alfonso Cirulli, the mayor of Barnegat, New Jersey, spoke out against the law in a Tuesday town committee meeting, according to the Asbury Park Press. Cirulli, a 60-year-old former assistant principal, urged other residents of the small beach town to pressure New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) to reverse the law, which passed the state legislature in January.

“The government has no right to teach our kids morality,” Cirulli said at the meeting, adding later: “We’ve crossed over the line into absurdity.”

Cirulli, a Republican in his third term as mayor, also said it is “time for the righteous to stand up for their rights.”

The law in question requires that all public middle and high schools “include instruction, and adopt instructional materials, that accurately portray political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

New Jersey is the second state after California to enact legislation requiring students to learn about LGBTQ history. The law applies to the 2020-2021 school year.

Peter Ackerman/Asbury Park Press/IMAGN
Mayor Alfonso Cirulli of Barnegat, New Jersey. 

Cirulli’s comments were met with swift criticism from Barnegat residents and others on Twitter. The mayor responded to critics, telling The Washington Post he believes the law goes too far.

“They could go to the extremes with this, like bringing in a drag queen to kindergartners,” he said, adding that he worries it will lead some children to have “an identity crisis.”

Cirulli did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. 

Dr. Brian Latwis, superintendent of the Barnegat Township School District, wrote in a statement on the district’s website that the schools will comply with state guidelines.

“Barnegat Schools will do everything we can to navigate challenges and difficult situations with sensitivity to all members of this Barnegat family,” Latwis wrote.