Democracy in Jeopardy

Aug 14, 2019

To the Editor:

Democracy is in jeopardy in Barnegat. Last week two instances occurred causing great concern for the health of our democracy and the willingness of people to have an open mind.

First: Our elected representative for the Third Congressional District, Congressman Andy Kim, was scheduled to speak on Aug. 29 at Mirage, as approved by the board of trustees. His agenda was to talk about his activities in Washington and to listen to residents’ comments and concerns. The Mirage board rescinded its invitation because they received several threatening emails and calls from residents who were outraged, demanding that Rep. Kim not be allowed to speak.

The cancellation of this event is disgraceful and those residents should be ashamed of themselves. Congressman Kim is our duly elected representative who is trying to make himself accessible to his constituents, which is the exact opposite of what his predecessor did.

Second: On Aug. 6 at the Barnegat Township Committee meeting, Mayor Al Cirulli “preached” a 20-plus-minute “sermon” opposing new legislation for middle/high school curriculums to include instruction on the political/economic/social contributions of people with disabilities and the LGBTQ community. One would have thought we were in church having “fire and brimstone” thrown at us. Cirulli said this law was “an affront to Almighty God.”

At that meeting I reminded him that in this country we have a separation of church and state. The mayor frequently violates that requirement and invokes the name of Jesus Christ in many of his speeches. He is the mayor representing a governmental body and religion has no place in our government. He has even refused to officiate at gay marriages. Officiating at marriages is a mayoral function, and if he refuses to perform that function, he should resign.

In fact, I would call for his resignation now in view of his complete intolerance of the LGBTQ community.

Marianne P. Clemente



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