Saturday, April 12, 2008

Urgent Message From GARDEN STATE EQUALITY

The following is an urgent message from Garden State Equality:

"URGENT ACTION ALERT FROM GARDEN STATE EQUALITY -- WITH SHORT NOTICE BEFORE OUR PROTEST THIS TUESDAY NIGHT, APRIL 15, PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL ASAP TO YOUR FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES AND LIST SERVS. PLEASE HELP US GET THE WORD OUT QUICKLY.
To protest a public official's equating being LGBT with pedophilia, please join us this Tuesday night, April 15, 2008 at 7:00 pm, Long Branch City Hall, 344 Broadway, 2nd floor. See below for a full briefing.
Long Branch is about 10 minutes from the Monmouth Mall and just 20 minutes north of Asbury Park. At the last Planning Board meeting in Long Branch, there was an exchange between Planning Board vice chair Edward Thomas and an attorney present to oppose a new building for a very popular, heavily trafficked ice cream shop in a more residential part of the city. Here's what happened, verbatim, as we just heard on the audiotape of the meeting:
Planning board vice chair Edward Thomas told the attorney: “Before you start, I would like to remind you that is an application for a child’s desert shop, and your commentary, if you could please refrain from making any statements extending from your own possibly inappropriate sexual 'preferences' in this matter.”

The attorney said, “I don’t know what inappropriate sexual 'preferences' are.”

Edward Thomas said, “Keep your pedophilia to yourself, and talk to the facts.”

The crowd gasped in horror.

We haven't a clue as to whether the attorney is LGBT or not. Regardless, Edward Thomas' comments were an outrageous homophobic slander on all LGBT people in our state. Garden State Equality has a zero-tolerance policy for homophobia and transphobia in New Jersey. Please join us Tuesday night to tell Edward Thomas he has to resign.

It's such short notice, won't you help us spread the word by forwarding this email asap to your friends, collleagues and list servs? Most of all, please come to our protest Tuesday night and bring others with you.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to be in touch.

Thank you from all of us at Garden State Equality.

Best,
Steven Goldstein
Chair, Garden State Equality"





25 comments:

Anonymous said...

In case anyone is wondering what made Mr. Thomas' statement homophobic:

According to several first-hand accounts of the meeting, Mr. Thomas used the term "sexual preference" as the old, now politically incorrect term for sexual orientation.

More to come – there is a apology from Mr. Thomas, though quite begrudging, and that’s not enough.

Steven Goldstein
Chair, Garden State Equality

Karl said...

Interesting to see the apology. Thanks for the update.

Anonymous said...

The one to apologize should have been the attorney, not Thomas. The attorney continually made sexual references about the kids ice cream place seeming "phallic" to him. After many questions and comments by the attorney linking the kids ice cream shop with sex and phallic symbols, he was stopped and instructed to take his seat. When the same attorney stood up again later, he was instructed by Thomas not to express his own sexual thoughts in his line of questioning again, the entire room, including myself and my family cheered Thomas' chastising of what I can hardly believe is a licenced attorney. We want that attorney to apologize or surrender his license to practice law!

Kristal-APPNJ said...

The attorney who kept asking gross sexual questions about the ice cream stand was standing right in front of the applicant's family and his children. When Mr. Thomas tried several times to tell him to stop, the attorney just laughed. The attorney said he was representing the Presidential Condo tower. His name is Francis J McGovern, Jr. from New Brunswick. We thought he was wrong to say the things he did in front of the family and children. What does a kids ice cream shop have to do with being "phallic?" How could he look at an ice crean stand and think of SEX? Pedophilia is a crime, not a right! How can these awful people support such a sick, nasty person like McGovern and think Thomas had anything to apologize for? Both the applicants AND objectors in the room applauded Mr. Thomas and we agree with everything he said!
Kristal D., Asbury Park.

Anonymous said...

Ed Thomas is not homophobic nor did his comments make any reference to that...The attorney was using words to imply that the lighthouse to be built for a childrens desert business was sexually symbolic. The attorney was inappropriate for doing so and Mr. Thomas put him in his place. Now it's being twisted into homophobia. In my opinion, someone is barking up the wrong tree in order to prevent the lighthouse from being built.
John J Kearns. Long Branch resident and business owner. FYI: I dont care if the lighthouse is built or not. But I do know Ed Thomas' character well and he's innocent of what you've been told

NG said...

Given the discrepancy or various interpretations of the incident in question, I would suggest if someone has the audio or video of the incident, let's post it online somewhere, for clarity of course, and that way we can all hear (and or see) what exactly took place.

Jerry, Oakhurst said...

This movement of Steven Goldstein's has nothing to do with whether or not LGBT does or does not support Francis J. McGovern's right to his association of ice cream and children, to "phallic sex." In his article he says, "At the last Planning Board meeting in Long Branch, there was an exchange between Planning Board vice chair Edward Thomas and an attorney present to oppose a new building for a very popular, heavily trafficked ice cream shop in a more residential part of the city." His own words are politically motivated and biased. His protest seems to be more against the application before the board, not supporting the rights of Francis J. McGovern to make sexual remarks regarding his feelings about "phallic symbols and children." McGovern needs psychiatric help, not the support of LGBT! Where is this Mr. McGovern? Let him tell us he wants our support now after what he did!

Karl said...

Maybe a review of a videotape would help....if such a videotape exists. I know most communities now days videotapes their council/committee meetings. Garden State Equality and others need to see/hear the truth.

Anonymous said...

Garden State Equality has the tape and will post it by tomorrow morning - it is a very long tape that we are digitizing. Indeed, we heard the tape, every moment of it, before we issued our statement. We stand by our statement strongly.

Mr. Thomas used anti-gay code words and then linked it to pedophilia.

Regarding some of the posts herein, why in the world would it be okay for Mr. Thomas to leap from the lawyer's characterization of the proposed building as a phallic symbol - not words we would have chosen, but a description given at an evening meeting - to calling into question the lawyer's sexual orientation and then linking it to pedophilia? That is unacceptable, and it is absolutely homophobic.

It doesn't matter whether the lawyer is straight or LGBT - he may well be straight, for all we know. Discrimination is often based on the perception of sexual orientation, and that's why New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination includes actual or perceived sexual orientation as protected classes.

Mr. Thomas apologized, it turned out, because the attorney for the planning board was alarmed enough by the statements to advise Mr. Thomas to do so.

With reason: The room gasped in horror at Mr. Thomas' comments.

We are not the only ones who share our view of Mr. Thomas' comments. Leading public officials in Long Branch of both parties also do, and are calling for his resignation.

By the way, tthere is nothing in the lawyer's background, nothing in the public records, not an accusation by anyone, to support Mr. Thomas' characterization.

Steven Goldstein
Chair, Garden State Equality

Karl said...

Thanks for the update, Mr. Goldstein. I will definitely look at the video.

Anonymous said...

Twist it anyway you want...there is no link between Mr Thomas' statement and gays... code? What code? Is it something you recently created? His apology should be for the use of the word pedifile and in no way does he owe the gay community one. And of course officials are going to call for his resignation... your group is intimidating them with a protest so they have no choice- they dont want it directed at them. Sounds like you are trying to make a name for yourself and keep the donations flowing... You should back off Mr. Thomas- he has been dedicated to Long Branch for over 20 years... and again- he is no homophobe...John J Kearns

Anonymous said...

What Garden State Equality just did in Long Branch is horrific. You should be ashamed using the LGBT community to attack a man that did nothing to you nor the community.... take your group to a red state if you really want to do some good. I would never want to be associated with a group like yours and I will be sure to spread that word... John J Kearns- Long Branch

Jay misson said...

I have known Ed Thomas for most of my life. I find it quite laughable that anyone would use words like "code" and "homophobic" relating to my close friend Eddie.

Having been in the restaurant business for the last 15 years, Ed has visited me in San Francisco, Miami, and New Hope, and never have any "homophobic", "codes" or the like ever come up while socializing with many varied peoples and lifestyles.

Ed Thomas is as transparent a human being as they come. He is the gold standard of a straight shooter. Ed Thomas can and will call BS when he sees it. It's a shame for any segment of the G & L community to back someone whom apparently is an embarrassment to their own agenda.

barb said...

I heard the tape and feel Ed Thomas should step down. His words were homophobic and extremely hurtful to me, personally. He must have spent his life keeping his prejudices well hidden, but the attorney touched a nerve and his true beliefs came out. Perhaps, he needs to come out himself?

Anonymous said...

Ed Thomas apologized...u people need to get a lives... HIS words hurt u? how thinly skinned u are....

Jay Misson said...

Mr. Goldstein,

Congratulations on your media whoring. (That's not a code word). You have disgusted me by hurting a fine man with your own personal pursuit of power.

I know personally of true champions of the causes you claim to be fighting for, that would not ever show such disregard for a human being.

I am particularly outraged that you were quoted as saying you had reached to Thomas. Please show me a phone record or e-mail. Or was this a third party effort, if so, please prove it likewise. Your e-mail to me said the Ed had "three junctures" in which to apologize, did you reach out for these?

The FACT is that that the apology did in fact take place for the truly incriminating pedophilia remark, and you chose to create a campaign condemning this man for your own interpretation of the phrase "sexual preferences". I fully believe this was a misuse of words for the given context and what Mr. Thomas meant was "references". The attorney in question, Mr. McGovern, repeatedly made his own references to the phallic nature of the proposal, it is quite easy to see the context issue here.

I also read the web site where you said Thomas "linked" pedophilia to being gay in order to get you and your organization more media exposure. Well done, your lack of ethics is appalling. How dare you say "nobody is perfect, yet nothing but his removal was satisfactory, how hypocritical for someone leading a rights movement.

It's a sad day for Ed Thomas, and a sadder day for your organization.

Thankfully, there are many other more legitimate organizations available to the LGBT community for real issues.

Sincerely,
Jay Misson

Jay Misson said...

To the editor:

Please remove my previous comment as I have been advised by Mr. Goldstein that we has forwarded this e-mail to "the authorities".

While I wish to retain my right to free speech, I also realize that this man is powerful and I wish not to be hunted.

Anonymous said...

Steven Goldstein is a slanderous thug who is the head of New Jersey's Gay Mafia and is attempting to force the gay lifestyle and gay marriage down people's throats in New Jersey the same way it's being done through activist courts since it's been rejected in the voting booths of sixteen states. Goldstein knows full well that if put to a vote, the people of New Jersey would reject gay marriage by a landslide margin. The man knows no shame.

Dino at "Dino's Forum "

Anonymous said...

Garden State Equality Chairman, and soon to be "Rabbi" Steven Goldstein, has recently succeeded in intimidating the Newark Superintendent of Schools into apologizing for having a photo of two males kissing removed from the Newark graduating class's yearbook. Among other things, not only was the photo reinstated, she will now be forced to give sensitivity training seminars. However, if you try to confront Goldstein for his strong-arm tactics, he will either ignore you or tell you that she "willingly complied." Lucky for her I suppose, being that if she didn't comply, Goldstein, GSE and the Blue Jersey's elitest trolls would've used every tool at their disposal to label NewarkSuperintendent Marion Bolden a "homophobe" and "bigot" among other things and probably would've eventually cost her job.

These people want to force their lifestyle and the acceptance thereof on everybody and if you disagree with them or even dare to speak out against them, you are labeled a bigot when it is in fact they themselves who are bigots who attempt to silence their opposition through slander.

Groups like Garden State Equality are merely the extreme opposite of the Westboro Baptist Church. If you don't agree with their fringe, extremist point of view, they treat you like garbage.

What's wrong with asking for equal rights? Absolutely nothing. The problem is that that's not what Garden State Equality does. They do the exact opposite. In reality they are chipping away at everybody else's equal rights to disagree with them. That's why, once again, they and groups just like them all over the country use the judicial system to get what they want and use bullying tactics, either aggressive or passive aggressive to silence any and all opposition.

Groups like Garden State Equality look to take our freedom to criticize them by labeling people who disagree with their fringe agenda and call them out for what they are as bigots when it is actually they themselves who are the bigots and most hateful element in America today and will not be satisfied until religious freedom starts getting stripped away as well for being "homophobic."

The sooner we recognize this and deal with him as necessary, the better off we'll be.

Dino P. Crocetti

Anonymous said...

This poor excuse for a human being, let alone a “man” commits several accounts of larceny to promote his own political agenda, is openly homosexual, and now says he is a Rabbi?? This lying monster should be locked up where he can’t hurt any more innocent people! Who ever heard of a “gay Rabbi?!”

Anonymous said...

Then, there's this from Steve Goldstein, the head of Garden State Equality, New Jersey's leading gay rights group...

"If I were not a nice Jewish boy studying to be a rabbi, I would embrace Jim McGreevey as my pastor in a New Jersey minute. I think it will take about one week for a congregation to fall in love with him."

Hey, Goldstein, would you "embrace" Sanjaya Malakar as your vocal coach?

No? Then, why embrace McGreevey as your moral compass?!?

Mr. Goldstein goes on to say that the reaction in the gay community to McGreevey's latest journey has been overwhelmingly positive.

I know I don't live in New Jersey, but I am a member of the gay community and my reaction is "Overwhelmingly Negative."

Anonymous said...

In case anyone is wondering what made Mr. Thomas' statement homophobic:

According to several first-hand accounts of the meeting, Mr. Thomas used the term "sexual preference" as the old, now politically incorrect term for sexual orientation.

More to come – there is a apology from Mr. Thomas, though quite begrudging, and that’s not enough.

Steven Goldstein
Chair, Garden State Equality



I have to wonder; what is enough? Obviously apologies are insufficient at any level. Afterall, that would limit your accomplishments.

Thats quite a statement for someone who portends to advocate civil/equal rights.

Perhaps you should have him executed.

Have you ever spoken to Mr. Thomas, dialed the phone? Have you personally e-mailed him in your efforts to "reach out?"

No, you have grandstanded your organization for publicity. Shame on you Mr. Goldstein. There are many more people with real integrity to move forward with an otherwise noble agenda.

Your website is self admittedly aggressive, but isn't it hypocritical to demand while squelching others from engaging in a conversation.

I guess this is harder hard ball than when Jimmy Carter negotiated peace in the Middle East. Thousands of years of unrest are no match for a verbal flap for the Garden State Equality organization.

Anonymous said...

At the bottom is a link to the complete audio file of the interaction between objectors attorney, Fran McGovern of New Brunswick, and the Lighthouse Ice Cream Stand’s architect along with board commentary. McGovern went off mic to ask his questions so his questioning is lower volume than the rest of the participants.

It is slow at first as Fran, the attorney, tries to think of anything to say. You'll hear moans and sighs of boredom as everyone waited for him to get his thoughts together. McGovern then warns everyone that he's about to offend everyone. A board member laughs as he wonders how awful this is going to be. Then you'll hear his first Phallic Symbol question. A witness, the architect for the applicant answers McGovern "I'm not of that persuasion! It maybe yours, I don't know !" McGovern, then acting offended asks "What persuasion is that?" to even further divert the line of questioning from anything relevant whatsoever. From that point there is much input from the board and the public. Each time you hear him say "I have to ask these questions" you'll hear board member Thomas repeatedly interrupt him and tell him "no, you don't !" After being prevented from any further inappropriate questioning, McGovern finally took his seat.
After a 5 min break and questioning by other council, McGovern eventually stands to speak again. You'll hear Thomas instructing him to restrain himself from using any further inappropriate, sexual remarks during his questioning of the witnesses. From that point on, Fran tried to stay factual no longer asking disgusting, sexual questions intending to insult the applicant, the audience and the board. When he was done, Thomas thanked him and apologized for any language used in warning him and he politely accepted.
Unfortunately, the cause of the entire incident, Fran McGovern himself has never rendered any apology for is gross misconduct before the board.

No references of any kind, not even "secret code words" were made to insinuate anything to do with Homophobia. That was completely fabricated by Steve Goldstein for his own personal hunger for media attention.
No matter who has to suffer to achieve his goal.

Listen to the entire interaction for yourself at: http://home.comcast.net/~markcams/Phallic Comment.mp3

j. valentino said...

when challenged the classless spineless skumbag attorney, mcgovern quickly advised that ed thomas was speaking to an officer of the court.really how about acting like one skumbag. having been a past resident of long branch for ten years, and still connected by being a investor in the city, i am not going to be intimated by this repulsive waste of sperm mcgovern, and the radical rabbi who is so offended. mcgovern should be brought up on ethics charges, and the suffering rabbi i can offer a crying towel to wipe away his tears. ed thomas should not have apoligized, the two skumbags are the ones that need to. i am not running for political office and i will not back down from bullying tactics. perhaps our congressman mr. pallone should be heard on this matter, and conduct a federal investigation to see if ed thomas's civil rights are being violated. the mayor and the city council are career politicians,if they cannot seem fit to back ed thomas it is because they are so entrenced in their wish to continue their longevity. this is why term limits should be enacted in long branch and all the shore towns. i for one will not succumb to this crap from this radical miscreant group and implore the mayor and the city council to extract an apology from mcgovern.

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