Ciattarelli vows to ‘roll back’ NJ’s LGBTQ school curriculum
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli is vowing to "roll back the LGBTQ curriculum" being taught in New Jersey schools if he is elected governor.
In a video obtained by Gothamist.com and posted to YouTube, Ciattarelli can be heard saying: "We're not teaching gender ID and sexual orientation to kindergarteners. We're not teaching sodomy in sixth grade." He said the current LGBTQ curriculum "goes too far."
The video was taken during a campaign appearance Ciattarelli was making at the Tactical Training Center firearms store in Flemington. He appears to be having a casual conversation with someone in the store, but who he is talking to is not shown on video.
“I feel lucky [our kids] are in their 20s," Ciattarelli says, "And I don't have to be dealing with what you're dealing with right now. You won't have to deal with it when I'm governor."
The video drew swift condemnation from gay rights groups.
"It's revolting to hear a gubernatorial nominee of a major political party regurgitate the same, tired talking points we have heard for decades from anti-LGBTQ leaders and discredited shock-jock personalities," Christian Fuscarino, of Garden State Equality, said.
"Teaching LGBTQ inclusive lessons reduces the rates of bullying in schools and can save lives. At a time when suicide and bullying rates among LGBTQ youth are still at alarming levels, we deserve elected leaders who will prioritize inclusion, not pander to far-right ideologues."
In a written statement to New Jersey 101.5, Ciattarelli defended the right's of the LGBTQ community saying "who you love is no business of your Governor," but also claimed, "extremists like Governor Murphy are infringing on their right as parents to educate their children about life’s most personal and intimate topics – and then trying to shame them when they dare speak up.”
“Love is love, and who you love is no business of your Governor. And resources should be made available to students who want to understand themselves as they grow into adults. We should not, however, encourage the abdication of parenting or expect teachers to replace parents. Let me be clear, as Governor, nothing we do or teach in our public schools will ever supplant the role and responsibility of parents.” - Statement from Jack Ciattarelli
While Ciattarelli says he supports teaching "diversity, inclusivity, tolerance, and respect for others," we should not be "pushing explicit subjects in elementary school classrooms." He did not, however, provide specific examples where he believes those "explicit subjects" are currently being taught.