May 22, 2018
the staff of the Ridgewood Blog
River Vale Nj, Holly Schepisi New Jersey State Assemblywoman for District 39 voiced her concern over set aside programs, “I am not a fan of set aside programs in general but I have consistently voted in favor of programs that help those with disabilities and our country’s veterans. I also am supportive of our LGBTQ community and have crossed party lines to not only support, but also to sponsor, initiatives to ensure equality for members of this community. However this Thursday we are being asked to vote on a new set aside program which will give financial assistance to businesses owned by members of the LGBTQ community above all others except for veterans and the disabled.
While I understand giving financial assistance to veterans and those who are disabled, I honestly do not understand the correlation of providing preferential business treatment to being a member of the LGBTQ community. Indeed we recently passed laws in New Jersey which specifically preclude all governmental agencies from inquiring about someone’s sexuality/gender identity, etc. and now we are passing a program which is solely contingent on someone reporting their sexuality and/or gender identity? Moreover, all recent studies that I have seen indicate that LGBTQ couples (both married and unmarried) have higher incomes than straight couples. I am willing to listen to my friends on the other side of the aisle on this but I see no practical reason for this legislation.”