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First openly gay, black Republican mayor takes office in NJ borough

Friday, January 6, 2012

CHATHAM, N.J. — Bruce Harris was sworn in this week as Mayor of the borough of Chatham, N.J., and became what is believed to be the first openly gay, black Republican mayor in the country.

Bruce Harris

Harris, an attorney and 30-year resident of Chatham, said he did not enter politics to break barriers, but “I have felt it is my duty to serve the community,” reported the Daily Record.

“I think that public service is interesting, and finding ways to meet the challenges facing a small community like Chatham Borough is personally rewarding,” he said.

The Victory Fund, an organization that works to elect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, said Harris is the first mayor of his kind in the country.

“Harris’ election shows that Chatham is a changing community,” said Leanna Brown, a former state senator and a resident of Chatham for 50 years.

“We’re not solidly one color,” Brown said. “And there is more acceptance of different lifestyles than there may have been in the past.”

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Filed under: New Jersey

35 more reader comments:

  1. I am inspired to know that there is a Gay Africian American Mayor.. I herd that… Inspiring

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:32pm
  2. Way to go U.S.A

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:32pm
  3. gay: cool…black: awesome…republican: eww

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:38pm
  4. OMG! Unicorns do exist!

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:40pm
  5. Gay republican? Is that even possible? ;)

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:41pm
  6. My mind is blown.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:43pm
  7. no no, we need more gay republicans to come forward and that’ll show the stupid republicans to shut up and legalize!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:44pm
  8. I am shocked!! way to go NJ

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:45pm
  9. There is so much wrong with that title “first, openly gay, Black Republican!”

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:45pm
  10. We need our voices in the enemy line, so good x him. He can changethings inside the system with his voice and power…..

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:46pm
  11. A black..gay..Republican. :|

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 3:59pm
  12. How do these things go together at all…?

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:02pm
  13. he needs to oppose his fat fucker, counter-part Chris Christie

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:02pm
  14. Hes black hes gay and hes a republican, not sure if that will carry well in the GOP party, just sayin….

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:02pm
  15. isn’t that an oxymoron?

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:03pm
  16. & to all u liberals who swear republican only stands for socially conservative, get ur heads out of ur asses

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:04pm
  17. Fuck ya u go dude make everywhere proud for openly gay officials

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:07pm
  18. There is a Republican LGBT political Club call Log Cabin. You can be Gay and Republican which is a good thing. I would like to hear Log Cabin on the recent declarations of some of their republican fellows running for the presidential nomination on LGBT issues

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:08pm
  19. This quite possibly is even harder to wrap your head around than attempting to measure the limits of the universe.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:27pm
  20. …………Im really confused…..gay republican…thats like a fat anorexic

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:34pm
  21. i wasnt aware that there are gay republicans! never the less BLACK GAY REPUBLICANS!?! how does that even make sense or compute? republicans enslaved african americans by taking them from their homeland and forcing them do work for free while they raped and pillaged their women and now republicans are/have been trying to abolish homosexuality in all its forms and stop gay equality and marriage completely. someone please explain how either of these can be in one person?!

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:38pm
  22. Some Republicans are socially liberal but fiscally conservative…odd that people aren’t aware of this demographic. Also, Bretagne, it was a Republican who FREED the slaves . Lots of Republicans back in the day didn’t own slaves. Overgeneralization a’hoy.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:44pm
  23. Chatham is headed directly into the toilet. Not because the man is black. Because the man is a GAY REPUBLICAN. Nothing good can come from that combo. Watch. You’ll see.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:45pm
  24. WTF you guys, social issues and fiscal issues are different. Republicans can be black and they can be gay. Get a history lesson people! WHY DO YOU THINK GOP IS SO UNDECIDED ON WHO THEY WANT TO RUN AGAINST OBAMA: THEY DON’T AGREE WITH ANY OF THE CANDIDATES COMPLETLY!

    STOP STEROTYPING

    Do gay men like being thought of as only being femimine?
    Or lesbians as only being butch?

    Thats because we are not.

    IF YOU TRUELY CARE ABOUT LGBTQI RIGHTS YOU SHOULD NOT CARE THE PARTY OF SOMEONE THAT SUPPORTS IT, PRO GAY RIGHTS DEMONCRAT AND PRO GAY RIGHTS REPUBLICAN>>>>> BOTH ARE PRO GAY RIGHTS.

    Fucking pratice equality if that’s wtf you believe in!
    Athiest=Christian=Gay Man=Asian=Black Woman=Democrat=Republican======HUMAN

    ^^^^^Equality includes equal liberties to the enemy, whoever you choose to define “enemy” is.

    LASTLY, this posting was a positive one, don’t turn it negative.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:49pm
  25. say what??

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:55pm
  26. ^ You’re ignoring the history of the Republican party. They have constantly backed and supported anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-child, and anti-progress measures. They’re are a socially bankrupt party. I don’t think ANYBODY who is simply a FISCAL conservative should be labeling themselves a Republican. A new party has to be formed, or they should call themselves a Centrist/Independent. That’s where my facetiousness stems from. You don’t call yourself a member of a party when you disagree with half of what they represent/believe. These black or gay Republicans are calling themselves such just to get rid of the stigma. Well, too fucking bad. It’s there. Break away from the party and start a new one.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:57pm
  27. @Sara: Educate yourself, please. Back then the Republicans were liberals, and the Democrats were conservatives.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:59pm
  28. Kevin, seriously? Now Republicans are trying to owe it to themselves?…. lol!!! What happened to “heterosexual power only and damn the gay slogan” that Republicans carry all the time?

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 5:50pm
  29. Big difference between the Federalist-Republicans of Abraham Lincoln’s era and these Ultra-Social Conservative Evangelical Capitalist Elitist Neo-Conservative Republicans we find today. This guy already has two strikes against him amongh Republicans– black and gay. Amazing the Republicans would back him. But good news for progressive, inclusive politics, I guess, so long as his own party doesn’t stab him in the back or he votes against the interests of blacks, gays, and other minorities.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 6:54pm
  30. I can understand being fiscally conservative and being out, but republicans do not fight for the LGBT community when it comes down to social issues.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 7:01pm
  31. I can’ believe there are gay and black republicans… What’s in their heads?

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 7:31pm
  32. What’s so wrong with that?

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 11:51pm
  33. This is AWESOME!!!! Admittedly on the surface I do not like the Republican agenda of today, however I do Not like partisanship! Which is something created to divide and distract us from the “real” issues, which unfortunately, has been strong and quite successful. It is a Good thing when politicians “cross party lines”! It’s the only hope we have of eradicating this absurd practice. We Do need more openly gay Republicans and Democrats so they can work Together to rid our government of their homophobic and hateful ideals and legislation toward the LGBT Community.

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 12:22am
  34. You Go Martin David Wolons Junior!!! LOVE your post! Couldn’t agree more:)

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 12:37am
  35. I’m sure he’s not the only gay republican, I’m sure there are plenty more, they just won’t come out because of what the other republicans think. But this is groundbreaking, he’s black, he’s gay and he’s a republican.

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 2:56pm