Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop was joined by several members of the city council, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transsexual community for the LGBT flag raising at city hall.Â
“In the last year, there’s been significant progress on a lot of issues that speak to what we are trying to become, not only as a community, but as a state and a country,” Fulop said at a press conference in front of city hall.
“And so today, when we raise the flag on top of city hall here, it speaks to the diversity that we’re really proud of, that we think Jersey City is a model for on so many fronts.”
City Council members Rolando Lavarro, Joyce Watterman, Daniel Rivera and Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal all joined Fulop for the event.
“Why [is] this day so important? Because every time you raise a flag, it represents freedom,” said Watterman.
Michael Billy, and LGBT advocate who lives in Jersey City, also took the podium prior to the flag raising, expressing his gratitude for marriage equality – also explaining that struggling members of the LGBT community can use a hand all year round.
“There’s tons of things to celebrate this year, the largest one of course is marriage equality, countrywide, which is a massive, wonderful thing for the entire community and all citizens of the United States,” stated Billy.
“And as much as we’re celebrating these incredible movements forward in what we’re able to do here in Jersey City, it’s also so important to remember the issues facing our community still today – in many states in the United States, people can still be fired for being LGBT.”
“Right here, in Jersey City, just right amongst us, there’s issues with [the] LGBT homeless population, our seniors have issues, health and human services, our trans[gender] population is having health and human services issues. These are things happening here in our own back yard.”