Garden State Equality Endorses Melonie Marano for Somerset County Freeholder

Reference Marano’s “Record of Working with and Supporting Issues of Importance to the LGBTQ Community”

Garden State Equality (GSE) has endorsed former Green Brook Mayor Melonie Marano for Somerset County Freeholder. GSE is New Jersey’s advocacy and education organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community with 150,000 members statewide.

“I am honored to accept the endorsement of Garden State Equality, and firmly believe that standing up for equality is always right,” said Marano, the Democratic standard bearer for Somerset County Freeholder. “In 2009 I performed the first same-sex civil union in Green Brook History after two previous mayors refused to do so, and was proud to stand against anti-LBGTQ activist Felecia Nace’s appointment to the Raritan Valley Community College Board of Directors.”

GSE notes that Marano is a 2019 candidate who “has a demonstrated record of working with and supporting issues of importance to the LGBTQ community.”

In 2009, as Green Brook Mayor, Marano reinstated the practice of the Mayor performing weddings, including the Township’s first same-sex civil union. Pat Walsh had suspended the practice two years earlier when same-sex civil unions became the law in NJ. In order to avoid marrying gay couples, Walsh simply refused to marry anyone.

Recently, Marano has been a leading voice calling for the resignation of Raritan Valley Community College Trustee Felecia Nace following her speaking role in a “Straight Pride” rally and  calling for eliminating all LBGTQ+ curricula in public schools.

Dr. Nace’s nomination was made in July 2017 on a motion by Freeholder Pat Walsh, currently the Republican nominee for freeholder.  The vote by the then all-Republican Freeholders was unanimous, with Brian Gallagher not in attendance. 

“This is a pattern for Pat. In 2009, I was proud to be the first Mayor in Green Brook to perform a same-sex civil union ceremony,” said Walsh. “But what saddened me was that Pat, as Mayor in 2006 when the unions became legal, refused to perform any weddings in order to avoid performing a ceremony for a loving same-sex couple.” 

“Melonie has been extraordinary in supporting diversity as she provides a forum for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning community members,” said Lambertville Council President Elizabeth Asaro. “Please cast your vote for diversity, acceptance and a voice of reason – vote for Melonie Marano.”