MORRIS COUNTY — 26th Legislative District State Senate candidate Christine Clarke was among the bipartisan candidates who received the endorsement of Garden State Equality in the 2021 race to the Legislature.
Garden State Equality is the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization in New Jersey, with over 150,000 members. They engage in advocacy, policy work, training, and support, advancing causes like creating safe environments for youth, improvement of health services that meet LGBTQ+ community needs, and respectful treatment of seniors. All of their work is informed by racial, economic, and disability justice concerns.
Clarke, as someone who initiated Pride flag raisings in two of the thirteen District 26 towns and proudly organizes Jefferson Township’s Pride ceremony in a bipartisan manner, will support LGBTQ+ rights as a legislator. She posted a video drawing contrast between herself and her opponent on LGBTQ rights as part of the Contrast series she created in response to her opponent turning down an invitation to debate.
Clarke’s opponent, incumbent LD26 State Senator Joe Pennacchio, voted against marriage equality for LGBTQ+ people three times. He also opposed banning conversion therapy and advocated for conversion therapy to be part of the national GOP platform three years after it was banned as a form of torture in New Jersey. He also opposed allowing official documents like birth certificates to be updated to reflect someone’s preferred gender, and he opposed banning transgender bullying in schools.
“I am so grateful to Garden State Equality for the important work they do, and for the honor of the endorsement,” said Clarke. “The difference in this election could not be more clear. As with a number of other important issues, Joe Pennacchio’s extreme positions opposing LGBTQ+ rights are a threat to public safety and wellness,” said Clarke. “The political moment we are all in demonstrates that we can not take our rights for granted, and must elect people who will uphold and protect them.”
Clarke is also endorsed by the New Jersey Democratic State Committee LGBTQ Caucus, the Morris County Democratic LGBTQA+ Caucus, and a number of other unions, environmental organizations, grassroots groups, and more. View the list and what leaders are saying about her by clicking here.
The 26th District includes 13 communities in Essex, Morris, and Passaic counties: Butler, Fairfield, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville, Morris Plains, North Caldwell, Parsippany, Rockaway Township, Verona, West Caldwell, and West Milford.