Alfonso Cirulli, the mayor of Barnegat Township in New Jersey, urged his fellow citizens to try to reverse a new law that requires public schools to teach LGBT history, stating that the pro-homosexual agenda is "an affront to Almighty God. He further said that no group "has a right to force others to comply with their beliefs" and that the LGBT curriculum reveals that "we've crossed over the line into absurdity."
Cirulli was criticized by LGBT advocates for his remarks but Rev. Franklin Graham defended the mayor, saying "he's got a lot of guts," and urged people to pray for the mayor.
During the "Mayor's Report" at a Township Committee meeting on Aug. 6, Cirulli said he wanted to express his personal opinion on the LGBT issue.
"There is no hate or bigotry intended here," said the mayor, as reported by NJ1015.com. "Everyone has a right to live his or her life the way they want to. But no group has a right to force others to comply with their beliefs, deprive them of their First Amendment rights and strip the rights of parents as to how to morally raise their children."
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed the LGBT history bill into law in January and it goes into effect in the 2020-21 school year. The law states, "A board of education shall include instruction on the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, in an appropriate place in the curriculum of middle school and high school students as part of the district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards."
At the Township Committee meeting, Mayor Cirulli stressed that the legislation bothered him the most because it does not include an "opt-out" for parents who do not want their children exposed to pro-LGBT propaganda and indoctrination.
"You can't opt out because LGBTQ individuals have contributed to our nation's history in the same way that women, people of color and immigrants have contributed," said the mayor. "What does a person's sexual preference have to do with anything and who's business is it anyway? How would anyone know a person's sexual preference unless that person professes it and what is his or her motive for professing it?"
"The nation was established on a principle of religious freedom," said the mayor. "Politicians have no right to promote the LGBTQ agenda through laws that that are intended to destroy religious freedom, especially our Jewish and Christian heritage."
When asked what he was "afraid" of with the new law, Mayor Cirulli said, "I'm afraid of the children being indoctrinated." He also urged residents and the State Legislature to reverse the LGBT law.
"Now is the time for the righteous to stand up for their rights," he said.
In an Aug. 13 post on Facebook, Rev. Franklin Graham said, "Mayor Alfonso Cirulli is coming under fire for saying that the LGBTQ agenda is 'an affront to Almighty God.' ... In the world we live in, the truth of God’s Word many times isn’t received well. But that shouldn’t stop us from standing with God’s teachings from the Bible. Pray for Mayor Cirulli -- and pray that this state mandate will be reversed."