Two modern-day civil rights activists who were among the leading voices in New Jersey’s fight for marriage equality, have endorsed Goutam Jois for Congress in the seventh district Democratic primary.
Louise Walpin and Marsha Shapiro were the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit that led to same sex marriage in New Jersey. An early Garden State Equality television ad featuring the two became a New Jersey political classic. They were among the first New Jersey couples to be married under the new law.
“Unlike many Democratic and progressive candidates who espouse similar values, Goutam already has a proven track record of winning difficult cases for members of vulnerable populations. He represented a victim of police brutality in front of the United States Supreme Court, winning the case in a unanimous 9-0 decision. He fought for, and won, asylum for a gay man from Jamaica, where being a member of the LGBTQ community is punishable by death,” Walpin and Shapiro said. “We know firsthand how difficult it is to expose your private life to the public eye, yet Goutam is not intimidated: He shares how his wife’s #metoo story and his family’s immigration to America shape his political platform. We need to elect leaders like Goutam Jois, who have an established record of fighting for justice, to represent us in Congress.”
Jois said he was humbled to be supported in his bid to unseat Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) by women who “have helped our country live up to its founding promise that we all created equal.”
“All that Louise and Marsha wanted is a level playing field that treats them like any other couple,” Jois said. “Their story is what it means to keep America’s promise, and that’s what I’m committed to doing in Congress so that everyone – not just the powerful and connected – have a fair shot.”