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New Jersey Republican Has A History Of Racist And Homophobic Positions



Ever since Donald Trump ran on a radical conservative platform and became President of the United States and leader of the free world, we have slowly seen the effects of right wing populism begin to play out across America. Not long ago, we here at Blue Side Nation reported on the destructive effects that President Trump’s hateful language is having on our society, especially in terms of the sky rocketing we have seen in levels of hate crime against vulnerable and protected minority groups within society. The effects of this kind of rhetoric are toxic and are plain to see. It normalizes hatred and makes it easier for those with pent up prejudices to voice them in incredibly harmful ways, leading to a further and deeper polarization of society along identity lines.

Recent reports have revealed some of the shocking ways that this is manifesting itself in our national politics. People are now standing for political office within mainstream parties with a real chance of winning whilst espousing positions that would have been, rightly, totally unacceptable just a few years ago. Take, for example, the New Jersey Republican candidate for the House of Representatives, Tom Kean Jr.:

After unsuccessfully seeking a Republican congressional nomination in 2000 and a brief tenure in the state’s general assembly, Kean was appointed to the New Jersey Senate in 2003 and was selected by his peers to serve as state Senate minority leader in 2008. During that period of time, he mounted an unsuccessful U.S. Senate run in 2006 against Democrat Robert Menendez. His anti-LGBTQ views have been a hallmark of his tenure, as he’s fought against marriage equality as well as even smaller protections for same-sex families.

In 2004, Kean was one of just nine senators to oppose a bipartisan domestic partnership bill to grant a handful of legal protections to New Jersey’s same-sex couples. His reasoning at the time was that it might cost too much money to give them even some of the benefits that opposite-sex couples already received. Two years later, Steven Goldstein, then-executive director of Garden State Equality, told The New York Times that Kean had initially pledged to support the bill, but changed his mind in the early hours before the vote, fearing a conservative backlash in future primary campaigns. “Dealing with Tom Kean Jr. is like playing chess with Casper the Friendly Ghost,” Goldstein said.

America cannot take much more of this. The toxicity has to end.





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