UNION COUNTY OFFICE OF LGBTQ AFFAIRS

Upcoming Events
About
Community Events
Know Your Rights
LGBTQ Resources
Highlights

Contact

Danni Newbury, Coordinator
Phone: 908 527-4742
Email:  dnewbury@ucnj.org

County of Union Administration Building
Office of LGBTQ Affairs,2nd Floor
Department of Economic Development
10 Elizabethtown Plaza
Elizabeth, NJ 07207

AboutUpcoming EventsCommunity EventsKnow Your RightsLGBTQ Resources2018 Highlights

About

Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, under the Department of Economic Development, was established by the Freeholder Board in 2018 and is the first county government office of its kind in the State of New Jersey – one of four government offices in the nation to support the LGBTQ community, of which only two are county government offices.

Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs offers a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serves as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.

Upcoming Events

QUEER SPACE at Rahway Culture Crawl

Saturday, September 21
1:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Rahway City Hall Plaza
Corner of Main Street and E. Milton Ave

Celebrating inclusion, diversity, acceptance and equality, join the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs in the QUEER SPACE and join the movement to accelerate acceptance – featuring DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR with Harmonica Sunbeam at 1:50,  with all-day family activities, PRIDE art and more.

OUT at the Hispanic Heritage Celebration – Recognizing Hispanic Heroes of the LGBTQ Community

Saturday, September 28
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Union County Performing Arts Center
1601 Irving Street, Rahway

Stop by the Office of LGBTQ Affairs table to learn about the diverse stories of extraordinary Latino/Hispanic people who have made significant contributions to American life and culture.

PRIDE ART at Rockin’ the Reservation

Sunday, September 29
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Express yourself with PRIDE ART. Stop by the Office of LGBTQ Affairs tent to make a custom button or bead your colors into a bracelet – share your PRIDE and show your SUPPORT for inclusion and diversity.

Union County LGBTQ+ Community Health & Wellness Fair

presented in partnership with WellCare Health Plans

Saturday, October 5
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Union County College
1003 Springfield Ave, Cranford

Presented in partnership with WellCare Health Plans, join us for Union County’s first inclusive educational and interactive health and wellness event offering a variety of screenings, presentations, fitness, personal care, and educational resources for all ages. Free Admission – Free Parking *all are welcome* *family/kid friendly*

Health and wellness providers who wish to participate at the event as a resource, please contact Danni Newbury, coordinator Office of LGBTQ Affairs at DNewbury@ucnj.org or 908-527-4742.

“Are Your Rights At Risk?” Seminar

presented in partnership with Singer & Fedun, LLC and Morgan Stanley

Tuesday, October 22
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

The Tavern at Ash Brook Golf Course
1210 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains

The evening seminar presentation will cover important life and family planning topics that directly affect LGBTQ families including marriage equality, protecting non-traditional family structures, portability of parental rights, estate planning, tax law, end-of-life issues, legal concerns facing trans/intersex communities, and a Q&A opportunity to speak with the presenters Bill Singer, Esq. & John Passante, Esq. of Singer & Fedun, LLC and Kate Sweeney & DW Kim from Morgan Stanley.

Admission is Free. Due to limited seat, registration is required. Form link below.

Register Online

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Know Your Rights

Union County – Safe Space for LGBTQ Individuals

Union County – Safe Space for LGBTQ Individuals
On October 11, 2018, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders declared by resolution Union County a safe space for  LGBTQ individuals, further noting that the County of Union has had a longstanding policy against discrimination, and this policy is incorporated into the Administrative Code of Union County insofar as it relates to County employment, contracts, and other activities.

NJ Division of Civil Rights: Know the Law
NJ Law Against Discrimination (LAD)

NJ Law Against Discrimination (LAD)
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (N.J.S.A. 10:5-12) (LAD) makes it unlawful to subject people to differential treatment based on race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex (including pregnancy), familial status, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for military service, and mental or physical disability, perceived disability, and AIDS and HIV status. The LAD prohibits unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, places of public accommodation, credit and business contracts.

Public Accommodation under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD)

Public Accommodation under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD)
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibits an owner, manager, or employee of any place that offers goods, services and facilities to the general public, such as a restaurant, hotel, doctor’s office, camp, or theater, from directly or indirectly denying or withholding any accommodation, service, benefit, or privilege to an individual because of that individual’s race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability. Further, individuals accompanied by a guide or service dog are entitled to full and equal access to all places of public accommodation.

NJ Division of Civil Rights Sexual Orientation Fact Sheet

NJ Division of Civil Rights Sexual Orientation Fact Sheet
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination based on sexual or affectional orientation. Federal law does not extend protection in this area. This means that it is against the law for you to be treated differently or otherwise denied the rights and privileges extended to others on the basis of sexual orientation. The law also forbids discrimination on the basis of ‘perceived’ sexual orientation, meaning that the Law protects you if you are subjected to discrimination because someone makes an erroneous presumption about your sexual orientation.

Garden State Equality FAQ: Transgender Student Rights in NJ

Garden State Equality FAQ: Transgender Student Rights in NJ
This resource provides answers to several frequently asked questions about the legal rights of transgender students in our schools.

ACLU Know Your Rights: LGBT High School Students

ACLU Know Your Rights: LGBT High School Students
Under the U.S. Constitution, public schools have to address any harassment against LGBT students the same way they would address harassment against any other student. This resource goes over the Constitutional rights of LGBTQ students and offers suggestions for how to put them into action.

ACLU Know Your Rights: Transgender People and the Law

ACLU Know Your Rights: Transgender People and the Law
This resource provides answers to 28 frequently asked questions about the legal rights of transgender Americans.

ACLU Know Your Rights: HIV and Civil Rights in the Workplace

ACLU Know Your Rights: HIV and Civil Rights in the Workplace
United States law protects anyone with AIDS or HIV from job discrimination. This resource explains the legal rights of HIV-positive people in the workplace.

Human Rights Campaign: State Maps of Laws & Policies

Human Rights Campaign: State Maps of Laws & Policies
This resource provides an up-to-date national map of state laws and policies that affect the LGBTQ community.

Lambda Legal

Lambda Legal
Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

LGBTQ Resouces

101

What does it mean to be transgender? What’s the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity? What does LGBTQ even stand for? The following resources answer basic questions like these in terms that beginners can understand.

LGBT 101: An Introduction to the Queer Community

This seven-minute informational video serves as a basic introduction to gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

LGBTQ | How You See Me

People have been talking ABOUT the LGBTQ community, so we decided to talk with them to learn from their experiences.

LGBT 101: An Introduction to the Queer Community

This seven-minute informational video serves as a basic introduction to gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

An Ally’s Guide to Terminology 

The words we use to discuss LGBT people and issues can have a powerful impact on our conversations. The right words help open people’s hearts and minds, while others can create distance or confusion. This guide serves as a resource for new allies who want to support LGBT Americans but aren’t sure how to begin those conversations. 

Website

Gender Pronouns, Get Them Right! | MTV Life

YouTube’s Jake Edwards breaks down the history of pronouns and offers a few solid points on why it’s so important to use a person’s correct pronouns.

Advocacy

Garden State Equality

Garden State Equality is the New Jersey’s statewide advocacy and education organization for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

973-509-5428

E-mail

Website

True Colors Fund

The True Colors Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, creating a world in which young people can be their true selves.

212-461-4401

Contact

Website

Human Rights Campaign

Information coming soon

Arts

Queer-Art

QUEER|ART is a non-profit arts organization serving a diverse and vibrant community of LGBTQ artists across generations and disciplines. The mission of Queer-Art is to create a diverse and vibrant community through the support of LGBTQ art and artists across generations and disciplines.

E-mail

Website

Business Development

National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce – NGLCC

The NGLCC is the business voice of the LGBT community, the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people, and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses.

202-234-9181

E-mail

Website

New Jersey LGBT Chamber

973-869-9567

E-mail

Website

Union County Department of Economic Development

908-527-4802

Website

Union County Economic Development Corporation – UCEDC

908-527-1166

E-mail

Website

Civil Rights

ACLU New Jersey

The ACLU of New Jersey works to defend liberty throughout our state. We are involved in litigation and advocacy on behalf of individuals, and we lobby on scores of bills in the state legislature and local councils. In addition, the ACLU is active in many public education and community organizing projects. The ACLU of New Jersey is located in Newark. We implement legal, legislative, public education programs in conjunction with large numbers of volunteers to advance the ACLU’s goals of liberty and justice for all.

973-642-2084

Website

Lambda Legal (National Headquarters, New York City)

Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. 

212-809-8585

Contact

Website

New Jersey Division on Civil Rights

DCR is a part of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General /Department of Law and Public Safety and is the agency responsible for investigating discrimination complaints and eradicating illegal discrimination in New Jersey. DCR is comprised of investigators, attorneys, and professional support staff.  We serve as a fair and impartial forum for addressing claims that the LAD or the Family Leave Act has been violated.  Our main focus is to investigate claims of discrimination in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation (e.g., schools, stores, parks).

Central Regional Office 609-292-4605

Northern Regional Office 973-648-2700

E-mail

Website

Human Rights Campaign: State Maps of Laws & Policies

This resource provides an up-to-date national map of state laws and policies that affect the LGBTQ community.

Website

ACLU Know Your Rights: HIV and Civil Rights in the Workplace

United States law protects anyone with AIDS or HIV from job discrimination. This resource explains the legal rights of HIV-positive people in the workplace.

Website

ACLU Know Your Rights: Transgender People and the Law

This resource provides answers to 28 frequently asked questions about the legal rights of transgender Americans.

Website

ACLU Know Your Rights: LGBT High School Students

Under the U.S. Constitution, public schools have to address any harassment against LGBT students the same way they would address harassment against any other student. This resource goes over the Constitutional rights of LGBTQ students and offers suggestions for how to put them into action.

Website

Criminal Justice

Moving Beyond Bias: How To Ensure Access to Justice for LGBT People

This curriculum was created by Lambda Legal to provide a model for educating judges, attorneys and other legal professionals about sexual orientation, gender identity and the needs of LGBT people in the legal system. 

Website

ACLU’s Know Your Rights: Transgender Prisoners

Each transgender person’s experience in prison and jail is different, in part because the conditions vary a great deal from one prison to another and change over time. However, the safety and health of every transgender prisoner in the United States is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution no matter where the prisoner is held. This resource explains the rights of transgender people in prison.

Website

Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People

LGBT people are over-represented in the criminal justice system. This series of reports, videos, and info-graphics highlights personal stories of LGBT people impacted by the criminal justice system and spotlights innovative programs, initiatives and organizations from around the country.

Website

Lambda Legal (National Headquarters, NYC)

Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. 

212-809-8585

Contact

Website

Education and School

Welcoming Schools (a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools is the nation’s premier professional development program providing training and resources to elementary school educators to welcome diverse families, create LGBTQ and gender inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students.

Information coming soon

GLSEN (Central New Jersey Chapter)

GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) is a United States-based education organization championing LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990. GLSEN’s mission is to create safe and affirming schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Information coming soon

Resource for Educators and School Administrators – NJ Department of Education Transgender Guidance for School Districts

State statute (N.J.S.A. 18A:36-41) directs the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education to establish guidelines to provide direction for schools in addressing common issues concerning the needs of transgender students, and to assist schools in establishing policies and procedures that ensure a supportive and nondiscriminatory environment for transgender students.

Information coming soon

Employment

Safe Spaces – Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

415-694-6500

E-mail

Website

Family, Parenting, Adoption

Family Equality Council

646-880-3005

Website

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Website

Children, Youth and Adults with an LGBT Parent (COLAGE)

Website

National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Family Protection Project

Information coming soon

Human Rights Campaign: All Children-All Families

202-628-4160

E-mail

Website

Health

HIV-AIDS, STD Prevention – Hyacinth

The mission of Hyacinth is to help people live with HIV, slow the spread of the epidemic, and serve as a critical voice in the public debate surrounding AIDS in New Jersey.

Plainfield 908-755-0021

Hotline 800-433-0254

Regional Office Website

HIV-AIDS – Iris House

Iris House saves lives through comprehensive support, prevention and education services for women, families, and under served populations affected by HIV/AIDS and other health disparities in a safe, family-centered environment by passionate, professional and culturally competent staff.

Plainfield 908-561-5057

E-mail

Website

Mental Health

Information coming soon

Substance Abuse

Information coming soon

Mental Health / Suicide Prevention – The Trevor Project

1-866-488-7386

E-mail

Website

Homelessness

Runaway – National Runaway Safeline

The National Runaway Safeline is there to listen if you are thinking of running away or already have. The Safeline, available by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY, text at 66008, or instant message on their website, can help connect you to resources for runaway youth in your area.

1-800-RUNAWAY or 1-800-786-2929

Online Services

Website

Youth Shelter – Community Access Unlimited Union County Shelter and Runaway & Homeless Youth Shelter

The Union County Runaway & Homeless Youth Shelter has a vision to halt the cycle of homelessness by offering various programs that will enable youth to move forward to a safer, healthier, and more productive lifestyle within the community.

908-354-3040 Extension 242

Toll Free 908-354-3096

24 Hour Access 908-413-4261

Runaway Hotline: 1-800-RUNAWAY

E-mail

Website

Housing – Union County Department of Human Services Continuum of Care/Homeless Unit

Union County offers a wide array of housing options and services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including: emergency shelter, permanent housing and supportive services; street outreach, engagement and case management; and prevention strategies. This resources provides more information on how to access services.

908-527-4874 or 908-527-4861

E-mail

Website

Youth Shelter – Covenant House

Covenant House provides trauma-informed, resilience-focused housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness – offering a safe shelter for LGBTQ and trafficked youth.

Elizabeth 908-354-4750

Newark Crisis Center 973-621-8705

E-mail

Website

TIP Sheet: Working with Homeless LGBTQ+ Youth

If you are working with homeless youth, you are almost guaranteed to encounter a client that identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ). This resource explains some of the unique challenges homeless LGBTQ youth face and includes a list of additional resources.

Information Coming soon

Youth Shelter – RAIN Foundation (Essex County)

The RAIN Foundation is a 501(c)3 non profit that provides emergency shelter services to address the emergent need of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals experiencing crisis leading to homelessness. Our programs promote self-sufficiency and independence to enhance our residents’ ability to function within their communities. Our programs aim to help adolescents lead healthy, productive and meaningful lives.

973-675-6780

Website

Monarch Housing Associates

29 Alden Street, Suite 1B Cranford, NJ 07016

908-272-5363

Older Adults

SAGE: Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders

National Headquarters in New York City 212-741-2247

Contact

Website

SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline

1-888-234-SAGE or 1-888-234-7243

E-mail

Website

Union County Division on Aging and Disabilities Resource Connection (ADRC)

Information coming soon

People of Color

Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) Mental Health: Rest for Resistance

QTPOC face a variety of unique challenges when seeking mental healthcare. Rest for Resistance is a blog with articles written for and by QTPOC on a variety of mental health topics.

E-mail

Website

Intersectional Mental Health Directory: Concerns of LGBTQ & POC Communities

This resource is a directory of existing articles that address mental health through the lens of POC, trans, queer and/or disabled trauma-survivors and others living at intersections of oppression. 

Information coming soon

Resource for Providers of Service – When Health Care Isn’t Caring: LGBT People of Color and People of Color Living with HIV

This report examines experiences with refusal of care and barriers to health care access among LGBT People of Color. The report also offers key recommendations for organizations and individual service providers.

Information coming soon

Transgender-Specific

A Legal Guide for Trans People and Their Advocates

Within this Transgender Rights Toolkit, readers will find answers to many questions that transgender people and their advocates may ask as they navigate through life. This toolkit is meant to be a resource and advocacy tool designed to educate and empower a community often left outside the walls of power.

Legal Guide

Why Pronouns Matter For Trans People

A person’s gender is always valid. Even if you don’t understand. Remember, when it comes to pronouns it’s about respect. 

New Jersey ID Document Change Laws and Procedures

A link to laws and procedures on how to get a legal name change in New Jersey and update your name/gender on state and federal IDs and records.

Procedures

Resource for New Jersey School Districts – Transgender Student Guidance for School Districts

This guidance was prepared by the New Jersey Department of Education after a review of policies and guidance from other states and organizations, and in consultation with educators, counselors, school psychologists, advocates, and parents. The intended purpose of this guidance is to help school and district administrators take steps to create an inclusive environment in which transgender and gender nonconforming students feel safe and supported, and to ensure that each school provides equal educational opportunities for all students, in compliance with N.J.A.C. 6A:7-1.1 et seq.

Guidance

Resource for New Jersey School Districts – Resources and Professional Development Opportunities for School and District Staff

Information coming soon

Youth

HMI: New Jersey – Hetrick-Martin Institute

HMI: New Jersey provides free year-round programs and services for LGTBQ youth and allies ages 13-21 … HMI: New Jersey is located in Newark, New Jersey and serves youth from Essex, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties, and is the only LGBT organization contracted with the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency Department.

212-674-2400

Contact

Website

Mental Health / Suicide Prevention – The Trevor Project

A national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.

1-866-488-7386

Contact

Website

Safe Spaces

Information coming soon

LGBTQ Employment / Workplace – Safe Spaces

Information coming soon

Highlights

In 2018, the County of Union became the first county government in the State of New Jersey to establish an office dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community. The Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs is one of only four government offices of its kind in the country. Here are some highlights of the work we did in our first year:

We brought together more than 40 professionals who provide services and programs for the LGBTQ community at the first LGBTQ Networking Roundtable.

On Tuesday, February 20, the Office of LGBTQ Services organized and hosted a roundtable with over 20 leading LGBTQ advocacy and ally organizations that serve Union County and New Jersey.

More than 40 participants met to discuss LGBTQ-related programs, services, issues and priorities for 2018. The event encouraged conversations about the many unique challenges of the LGBTQ community including: access to healthcare services; state policy recommendations; safe spaces for LGBTQ individuals and allies; access to resources and information; and achieving safety, permanency and well-being for LGBTQ youth and families. Participants also offered strategic thinking toward building culturally-appropriate programs and partnerships that affirm the dignity and human worth of LGBTQ people and supporters.

We engaged LGBTQ and ally youth to celebrate inclusion through art.

On March 15 and 16, the Office of LGBTQ Services offered an LGBTQ affirming poster making workshop at Union County’s Teen Arts event collecting over 60 poster artwork by Union County teens to support their peers in an project designed to ‘give LGBTQ youth and allies a voice.’ The project will conclude with the creation of a book of affirming artwork submitted anonymously by LGBTQ youth and allies, which will be distributed to public libraries and schools throughout Union County.

We hosted a number of workshops and training sessions to increase awareness, building inclusion and accelerate acceptance.

On Tuesday, April 3, Union County hosted Garden State Equality’s ‘Pledge & Protect’ entry-level workshop “Introductions to the HealthCare Needs of the LGBTQ Population” free for organizations and professionals serving older LGBTQ adults. The session was presented in collaboration with the Union County Office of LGBTQ Services and the Division on Aging and Disability Resource Connection.

On April 11, Union County partnered with the Elizabeth Public Library to host Garden State Equality’s Youth Caucus social justice driven advocacy workshop for youth ages 12 to 19.

On Friday, September 28, Union County hosted GLAAD Media Institute’s Engagement 101 Telling Your Story: Messaging and Media Tools for Today’s Activists LGBTQ accelerating acceptance training course free and open to the public. Participants learned how to get a message of inclusion and acceptance across effectively in the mainstream media narrative about the LGBTQ community.

On Friday, October 19, Union County hosted GLAAD Media Institute’s Engagement 202: Telling Your Story through Social Media accelerating acceptance social media training courses free for anyone who wants to build the core skills and techniques that influence positive cultural change through social media.

We increased community LGBTQ inclusion supporting local family programming.

On August 21, Union County partnered with the Friends of the Rahway Public Library and the City of Rahway to Drag Queen Story Hour, a national children’s program that raises awareness of gender diversity, promotes self-acceptance, and builds empathy through an enjoyable literary experience. The inclusive event was covered by CBS 2 News as well as the Home News Tribute and other local reporters.

We supported LGBTQ business owners and managers seeking to partner with corporations to advance diversity initiatives.

On Wednesday, September 12, Union County collaborated with the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce on their second annual ‘Out For Business’ Breakfast – a business and networking event designed to connect LGBTQ entrepreneurs with key contacts and decision makers from various businesses and Fortune 500 companies in New Jersey. Guests had the opportunity to meet and discuss strategies that meet the diversity needs of companies such as PSEG and Prudential, as well as educational institutions such as Rutgers, Princeton and University Hospital.

Photos coming soon

We supported Union County’s Colleges first ever LGBTQ+ History Month events.

As the Coordinator of the Office of LGBTQ Services, Danni Newbury played a key role in Union County College’s first LGBTQ+ History Month events including as the Keynote Speaker at the kickoff event at Union County College main campus on October 23.

On November 6, Union County partnered with Union County College to present a special screening of ‘Love Wins’ followed by a discussion with filmmaker Robin Kampf, and co-stars Jan Moore and Emily Sonnessa, whose love story influenced marriage equality in the state of NJ. The screening marks final event of UCC’s 2018 LGBTQ+ History Month celebration – the first in the college’s history.

We became the first county government in the State of New Jersey to proclaim June PRIDE Month during the first ever Union County PRIDE Flag Raising Ceremony.

On June 4, the rainbow flag flew for the first time at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as Pride month. Union County’s Flag Raising Ceremony – the first county government entity in New Jersey to host such a ceremony – featured a performance by Elizabeth’s Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy Acapella Chorus, a presentation of a resolution to the MERCK Rainbow Alliance in recognition of their achievement of receiving a 100 Corporate Equality Index rating from the Human Rights Campaign; guest speeches by prominent Union County LGBTQ advocates Danielle King of Hyacinth Aids Foundation, Union County Sheriff Office LGBTQ Liaison Officer Tamiko Brooks, Hannah Lieberman of PFLAG North Jersey, and Maria Z. Carvalho, President of the Elizabeth Board of Education, who presented a resolution on behalf of the Elizabeth BOE proclaiming June as Pride Month, the first time in the school district’s history.

Photos coming soon

Photos coming soon

We hosted the first TEEN PRIDE event to bring together LGBTQ and ally youth from Union County and the surrounding area for a night of dancing and entertainment.

On June 15, in collaboration with the Union County Performing Arts Center, Union County hosted the first TEEN PRIDE event for LGBTQ Youth ages 16 and older. According to Human Rights Campaign, four out of ten LGBTQ youth say they live in a community that doesn’t accept their sexual orientation. With in-kind contributions from throughout the community, the inclusive evening for LGBTQ youth offered an exciting celebration of individuality in a welcoming environment that affirms who they are – regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation, how they dress, or any other reason. The event included appetizers and light refreshments, DJ, drag queen emcee, the crowning of the rainbow court, selfie photo booth, candy table and more.

We hosted our second annual Union County PRIDE event celebrating family, equality, diversity and community.

On June 16, Union County hosted the second annual Union County PRIDE event. An inclusive celebration of family, equality, diversity and community, the event featured live music, a variety of arts and crafts (featuring the “LOVE Makes a Family” poster making), lawn games inflatable bounce houses, and much more. More than a dozen New Jersey LGBTQ advocacy and ally organizations offered information, support and networking resources throughout the event. Two highlights of the event include a ‘Trash to Fashion Show” with Drag Queen Harmonica Sunbeam presented by the Elizabeth Public Library, and an Equality Rally with special guest speakers and performances.

Photos coming soon

Photos coming soon

Union County became the first county government in the State of New Jersey to proclaim October LGBTQ History Month and hosted an inaugural event highlighting the LGBTQ and Social Just Activism of renown athlete Billy Jean King

On October 23, Union County hosted the inaugural LGBTQ History Month event, featuring a screening of the 2017 Billie Jean King biographical film ‘Battle of the Sexes’ followed by a discussion about women’s rights and equality in the 70’s and today with NJ equality advocates and civil rights panelists Aggie Roncagleo and Benn Meistrich, Esq. from the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, and LGBTQ Attorney Bill Singer of Singer & Fedun, LLC in Somerset.

This year, we initiated a strategy for fostering inclusion and accelerating acceptance by recognizing specific LGBTQ community awareness and remembrance dates. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders – either through a Freeholder statement or resolution – publicly recognized several LGBTQ awareness days most notably:

  • Proclaimed by resolution June as Pride Month throughout Union County (the first county government in New Jersey to do so);
  • Proclaimed by resolution October as LGBTQ History Month (the first county government in New Jersey to do so);
  • On National Coming Out Day (October, 11, 2018) the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders proclaimed by resolution October 11, 2018 as National Coming Out Day throughout the County of Union and further declared Union County ‘A Safe Space for LGBTQ Individuals’ during the Freeholder Board mobile meeting in Plainfield.  The County observed National Coming Out Day and participated in the one-day campaign that engages communities to take a stand against the discrimination, violence, harassment, and bullying of LGBTQ people by coming out in support of safe spaces for LGBTQ individuals and allies.

In July 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy hosted the first ever PRIDE reception at Drumthwacket, the Governor’s mansion.

During the reception Freeholder Rebecca Williams was honored for her work and contributions to the LGBTQ community. She was joined by LGBTQ office Coordinator Danni Newbury.

Faces of Pride

Office of LGBTQ Services coordinator, Danni Newbury was selected by USA Today to represent New Jersey in their 2018 Faces of Pride feature.