The following letter appeared on NJ.com over the weekend and let me just say that I am so glad that Frank Pallone Jr. is my congressman and not Chris Smith:
I am disturbed by our congressman's disregard for the civil rights of the men and women of my community. Rep. Chris Smith recently made the comment: "I am a strong believer in traditional marriage, and do not construe homosexual rights as human rights." To add further outrage, Rep. Smith is co-chairman of the House human rights subcommittee.
Rep. Smith's unkind comment implies there is a difference between the rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) individuals and the rights of human beings. He has occupied New Jersey's District 4 congressional seat for 33 years. Smith portrays himself as a moderate Republican, but his position on social issues is of the most extreme in Congress on the rights of LGBT individuals and women. As Rep. Smith does not include his anti-LGBT and anti-women legislative work in his newsletter, I suspect he knows the majority of this community would not support his extreme agenda. I believe Rep. Smith is re-elected because voters are not aware of his disturbing record.
Rep. Smith's position is out of step with our community, out of step with New Jersey and out of step with most of America. Our representatives in Congress are elected by us to represent our values in Washington, D.C. They write laws and make policy that affect our daily lives. It is time to elect a new lawmaker in District 4 that truly represents the moderate views of this community.
The writer is a member of the District 4 Coalition for Change.