WASHINGTON, D.C. – State Assemblymen Tim Eustace (D-38) and Reed Gusciora (D-15), New Jersey’s two openly gay legislators, packed the room for their Walk to Washington train ride after-party on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, demonstrating political power and LGBT pride all at once.
“This is about bringing all communities together. We have Democrats and Republicans here. It’s about meeting your colleagues on a different plane,” said Gusciora while over 100 partygoers filed into the upstairs room of the Number 9 Bar, an establishment that is LGBT-friendly. “Plus, this is a great way to enjoy Washington, D.C. The turnout shows that there is more respect for the LGBT community.”
“Events like these breed collegiality. You have more fun at a party like this.” said Eustace. “People can let go. This party is not about power. It’s about parity.”
Eustace and Gusciora’s party drew many prominent members of New Jersey’s political establishment.
“I like these guys, and I believe in these guys,” said former U.S. Ambassador to Germany and potential 2017 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy. “Most of all, I admire the courage of these guys, especially in a world where while things are better, we’re still not where we need to be regarding LGBT issues. I made sure that I came here to stand up and be counted.”
Stepping around other notable New Jersey political figures such as state Senator Bob Gordon (D-38), Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato and Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, another prominent Garden State politician explained why he came out to the event.
“I try to support all my members,” said state Assembly Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32). “I’m always very supportive of the LGBT community. Everyone has a right to live their lives.”