Family Policy Alliance Says Mayor Cirulli Is a ‘Guardian’

By Eric Englund | Dec 04, 2019
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Barnegat — A pro-family, Christian advocacy group recently presented Barnegat Township Mayor Alfonso Cirulli with a Guardian of the Family – Elected Official award at a ceremony last month in Bergen County. The Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey, formerly the New Jersey Family Policy Council, honored Cirulli for his strong stance against a law requiring all school districts on the high school and middle school levels to instruct students on the political, economic and social contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is scheduled to go into effect for the 2020-21 school year.

The mayor, along with the alliance, circulated petitions saying the state should give parents the option to opt their children out of the curriculum based on moral and religious objections.

Cirulli, who was selected to serve as mayor for 2019 at the beginning of the year, first discussed the law at the August township committee meeting during his report. He stressed that state and federal governments “have no right to interfere with someone’s religious upbringing” and called the measure forced indoctrination from the LGBTQ community.

He punctuated his talk with Bible verses and called the agenda of LGBTQ an “affront to almighty God” and also said those who support it “will pay an eternal price for their rebellion.”

Cirulli’s comments went viral, as media outlets all over the country reported on them. He got lambasted by some who accused him of violating the principle of separation of church and state; others lauded him for sticking up for his views. It set the stage for a very emotion-packed September committee meeting, drawing large crowds of people from both sides of the issue. Shawn Hyland, director of advocacy for the alliance, was in attendance to support Cirulli.

“I first met Al at a National Day of Prayer event,” he said. “Usually this award goes to a state Assembly or Senate member, but we chose him for warning the public about this new curriculum.”

“While I feel honored and humble receiving he award, I wish more people had taken a stand,” said Cirulli, a retired assistant principal from Pinelands Regional High School. “I’ve had politicians pat me on the back, saying I’m doing the right thing, but why aren’t they doing more?”

Cirulli said the alliance also honored him for his stance earlier in the year in opposing decriminalization of marijuana for recreational use. It is permitted for medical use.

“In my nearly 35 years in public education, I’ve seen first hand the devastating effects of opioid and marijuana use among teens,” he said. “Another problem is that the marijuana being sold today is 20 to 40 times stronger than what was around 40 or 50 years ago.”

At Cirulli’s request, the township committee passed a resolution opposing legalizing recreational use.

— Eric Englund

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