BARNEGAT — A mayor who opposes the new LGBTQ curriculum requirement for public schools also continues to be against same-sex marriage.

At the Township Council meeting on Tuesday, Alfonso Cirulli spoke against the policy that goes into effect with the 2020-21 school year, calling it "an affront to almighty God."

Cirulli recently told the Asbury Park Press that he stopped performing weddings as mayor when same sex-unions were made legal in 2007 because he didn't want to throw away tradition and didn't want to discriminate against anyone. Same-sex marriage became legal in the state in 2013.

He also told News 12 New Jersey that he was not surprised by the criticism his comments received but blamed legislators for passing the law before it's content was fully known.

The law does not teach sex or promote sexuality. The intent of the law is to include instruction and readings that "accurately portray political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people."

Cirulli said sexual preference is a "mindset" and there is no comparison between a person's sexual preference with racial or ethnic discrimination.

Barnegat police Chief Keith A. Germain said he had been approached by township residents about the mayor's comment.

"The Barnegat Police Department is an agency committed to our core values which include fairness, empathy, and respect," which he said was "absolute and unwavering, and applies to everyone."

Schools Superintendent Brian Latwis said the Barnegat district does not yet have a curriculum in place but assured the community that the district would do its best to "navigate challenges and difficult situations with sensitivity to all members of the Barnegat family."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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