Saturday, June 22, 2024

New Jersey makes history with LGBTQ cabinet appointment

Shawn LaTourette is the first out gay man to serve in the New Jersey cabinet and the first LGBTQ person to head up a state environmental protection agency.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has announced the appointment of Shawn LaTourette to the position of Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. LaTourette, an out gay man, makes New Jersey the first state to have more than one out LGBTQ cabinet member, in addition to Sue Fulton, who was appointed Chair and Chief Administrator of the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission in 2018.

“At a time when the New Jersey legislature is empty from any representation for the LGBTQ community, this appointment is welcomed and appreciated,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “It speaks to Governor Murphy’s commitment to diverse inclusion in our government. Highly qualified LGBTQ people like Shawn are ready to step up and serve in leadership positions in the Garden State. We are confident that Shawn will lead with professionalism based on his impressive record while at DEP.”

Shawn LaTourette | Photo: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

“Governor Murphy chose Shawn because of his extraordinary experience and qualifications, yet the importance of his appointment extends well-beyond the state’s environmental protection efforts alone,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “The governor’s cabinet has tremendous influence over the policies and direction of New Jersey and having two out LGBTQ members ensures our community is considered when the most important decisions are made. Shawn’s appointment is a groundbreaking moment for the state and will inspire other LGBTQ New Jerseyans to pursue careers in public service.”

Garden State Equality lifts up the diverse voices of LGBTQ communities through education and advocacy to advance the movement for equality in New Jersey and nationally.

LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve and sustain global equality through leadership development, training, and convening to increase the number, expand the diversity, and ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.

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