Home>Articles>Gottheimer denounces anti-LGBT comments by Hackensack BOE trustee

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Gottheimer denounces anti-LGBT comments by Hackensack BOE trustee

Frances Cogelja sent emails decrying LGBT education bill

By Nikita Biryukov, June 24 2019 8:28 pm

Rep. Josh Gottheimer on Monday denounced Hackensack Board of Education trustee Frances Cogelja for homophobic comments the latter made.

“We have a responsibility to educate our students about the LGBTQ community’s many contributions to our state and to our society, and that hate and intolerance have no place in our community and country,” Gottheimer said. “These comments do not reflect our Jersey values of equality, inclusion, and respect. This is an unfortunate reminder that our LGBTQ community continues to face discrimination and inequality, and that our work to combat this is far from over.”

In February, Cogelja sent emails to Hackensack’s acting superintendent disparaging a law signed the same month that requires the state’s public schools teach students about the contributions of gay and transgender individuals.

She has since apologized for the comments.

Those emails were released by candidates who unsuccessfully attempted to oust Cogelja from the seat.

“I find it repugnant that someone’s sexual preferences have anything to do with their contributions or achievements in society,” Cogelja wrote. “Everywhere I turn, this alternate lifestyle narrative is being shoved [down] our children’s throats. Where does it end?”

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