As America celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court ruling recognizing marriage equality, we should remember that Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., recently stated, “I am a strong believer in traditional marriage, and do not construe homosexual rights as human rights.”
The irony is that Smith, who is chairman of the House’s Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee, was given a grade of zero from the Human Rights Campaign.
Smith’s unkind comment implies that there is a difference between the rights of LGBT individuals and the rights of human beings. Smith, who has occupied New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District seat for 33 years, portrays himself as a moderate Republican. But his positions on the rights of LGBTs and of women are among the most extreme in Congress.
Smith omits all his anti-LGBT and anti-women legislative work from his newsletter because he knows the majority of his constituents would not support his extreme agenda. He gets re-elected because voters are not aware of his disturbing record. His positions are out of step with our community, out of step with New Jersey and out of step with America.
Our representatives in Congress are elected by us to represent our values in D.C. and write laws that reflect the values of our community. We need a lawmaker who believes that all humans are entitled to human rights. It is time to elect a new lawmaker in the 4th District who truly represents the views of this community.
This letter also appeared in the Asbury Park Press.