Was this NJ councilman’s post ‘homophobic’? He’s not apologizing
JERSEY CITY — A councilman who received criticism for a recent Facebook post featuring a man in a tiny, pink bathing suit is not apologizing.
Members of Jersey City's LGBT community took offense at Richard Boggiano's post, which is no longer available for the public to view. It included the caption "hey city council pass the obscenity law," according to a screenshot of the post on the Jersey Journal website.
Boggiano told the newspaper that someone who had access to his account may have put up the post. But in a response also on Facebook, the former Jersey City police officer took responsibility for it.
"I will not apologize to those who cannot understand the intent of my earlier Facebook posting. Who are you assume the sexual orientation of the person pictured, and what does that have to do with public nudity," Boggiano wrote on Thursday.
"What someone does in their private life is none of my business — live and let live," the post continues. "But public spaces are different. How would a parent react if a topless woman or the man pictured walked up to their young child in the street? Is that parent 'phobic' and in need of 'cultural sensitivity training' for shielding their child from such a sight? I don’t think so, and you won’t silence me for speaking up on their behalf."
Michael Billy, head of the Hudson Pride Center, called the 74-year-old "transphobic, homophobic and misogynistic" in his own Facebook post.
"Jersey City is the most diverse city in the nation with the largest LGBTQ+ population in the state. This post doesn’t reflect our welcoming spirit. We ask for an apology and call for council to participate in cultural competency training," Billy wrote.
Boggiano, a Marine veteran, is opposed to a revision of the city's obscenity law.
Lillian Bustle, whose burlesque show sparked debate about the obscenity laws, noted in a response to the more recent post that the man's bathing suit is legal under the current law.
"Since a skimpy bathing suit is currently street-legal for men, what language would you propose for the new law to prevent someone from dressing this way in public," Bustle asked.
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