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NJ gay rights group halts political party donations, citing gay marriage defeat

NJ gay rights group halts political party donations, citing gay marriage defeat

New Jersey’s largest gay rights group is suspending donations to political parties after feeling spurned by Democratic lawmakers who did not pass a gay marriage bill.

In a statement released Monday, Garden State Equality said it will now contribute only to individual candidates and pro-LGBT non-party organizations:

Sending a bold signal that no political party should take the support of the LGBT community and its allies for granted, Garden State Equality’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved a new provision for the organization’s bylaws that immediately precludes Garden State Equality from giving financial contributions to political parties and their affiliated committees.

Under the new policy, Garden State Equality will make financial contributions only to individual candidates and to non-party organizations that further equality for the LGBT community.

“No longer will we let any political party take our money and volunteers with one hand, and slap us in the face with the other when we seek full equality.”

Garden State Equality urged its 65,000 members to follow the policy in their individual giving.

The organization’s leaders expected lawmakers would legalize gay marriage last month. But they saw support erode after Republican Chris Christie, who opposes gay marriage, was elected in November. The bill was defeated on Jan. 7, with only 14 of 40 senators in the Democratic-controlled house voting yes.

With more than 65,000 members, Garden State Equality is New Jersey’s largest civil rights organization – and one of the nation’s largest. Garden State Equality’s Board of Directors consists of 85 LGBT and non-LGBT members.

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