Legislation Condemns Bigotry and Hatred
Legislation Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker, Elizabeth Maher Muoio, Gordon Johnson, Reed Gusciora and Joseph Danielsen sponsored in an effort to restore civility to public discourse and urge a reconsideration of the beliefs shaping public attitudes nationwide recently gained Assembly approval.
“People of all faiths, backgrounds, and political ideologies are drawn to New Jersey because of our fundamental commitment to respecting one another. That is a defining characteristic of this state,” said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “In the midst of national discussions that are increasingly divisive, the people of New Jersey continue to show the world that diversity is an asset, that we can disagree without being disagreeable and that the twin evils of bigotry and hatred have no place here.”
The resolution (AR-155) condemns bigotry and hatred, denounces an increase in hate crimes and declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all New Jersey residents must be protected and preserved. The sponsors cited a need to embrace tolerance and build a more inclusive society as the driving force behind the legislation.
“New Jersey derives strength from our diversity,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “The Garden State is an example of what makes America great.”
“No matter how vulgar or aggressive partisan rhetoric becomes, it is no match for the love and kindness that prevail in neighborhoods throughout New Jersey,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “This resolution is a reminder that these principles – not bigotry and hatred – are the foundation of our country.”
“Bigotry and hatred manifest themselves in more than angry words alone. They have real, devastating consequences that are the reality too often in our country,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “We condemn prejudice and intolerance and stand firm in the belief that everyone has a right to live a life free of fear, intimidation and overall injustice.”
“Here in New Jersey, we don’t put up walls. We open doors,” said Danielsen (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “This is a place where everyone is welcome to celebrate their culture, practice their religion and just be who they are, and our state is far better for it.”
The measure gained unanimous approval from the Assembly on June 27.