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The New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

N.J. ranks 13th in nation for LGBTQ+ elected officials

By Ashley Gallagher, July 29 2021 9:30 am

New Jersey ranks 13th in the nation in electing members of the LGBTQ+ community to public office, according to a report released on Wednesday by Out for America.

The LGBTQ+ community is seeing an all-time high of representation amount elective officials.

Since June 2020, there are 986 known LGBTQ+ elected officials, which is a 17% increase from this time last year, according to the report. In New Jersey, there are 25 LGBTQ+ elected officials, three of the 25 being mayors and the other 22 being local officials.

Every state but Mississippi has an elected official who’s an out member of the LGBTQ+ community.

None of the 120 members of the New Jersey Legislature are openly gay.

There is also a 75% increase in black officials and the number of ciswomen surpasses the number of GBQ cismen.

Out of the 25 officials in New Jersey, three are black and one is Latino/Hispanic. Ten of the 25 officials identify as a woman.

Though these numbers are mark an improvement from the past, the report says that LGBTQ+ elected officials only make up 0.19% of the elected officials. In order to achieve equitable representation, more than 28,000 more LGBTQ+ members need to be elected, the report says.

“LGBTQ elected officials are significantly more diverse than the overall elected official population – so their impact extends beyond LGBTQ equality alone,” said Ruben Gonzales, executive director of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “LGBTQ elected officials are on the frontlines in legislative efforts to end police brutality, defend voting rights and secure inclusive healthcare reform. LGBTQ people are represented in every community in America and that diversity allows for more thoughtful policy changes when we are in office.”

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