Competition in New Jersey Legislative District 4 centers on parental rights

Republican state Senate candidate Chris Del Borrello and his Assembly running mates Matt Walker and Amanda Esposito unveiled a five-point contract with South Jersey parents but gay rights champion Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, the Democratic candidate for Senate, called the plan a “5-Point MAGA Manifesto”.

Garden State Equality Action Fund has endorsed Moriarty based on his support for lifting up the diverse voices of LGBTQ+ communities through education and advocacy to advance the movement for equality in New Jersey and nationally.

Moriarty was the prime sponsor of legislation that prohibits mental health professionals from engaging in conversion therapy or reparative therapy in an attempt to change the sexual orientation of patients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, or queer (LGBTQ).

Moriarty also supported a bill signed into law by Murphy, that requires school districts to provide sexual orientation and gender identity diversity lessons “starting in kindergarten,” according to Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey.

“The health and well-being of transgender and non-binary students is an urgent matter,” according to a number of gay rights groups that addressed the issue recently. “When they are not seen and affirmed in school, when schools do not have policies affirming their rights, existence, and use of the public school in its entirety, these students come to school less, do more poorly academically, in turn impacting their opportunities beyond high school.

“These policies have negative effects on LGBTQ+ students and make them even more vulnerable to harassment and discrimination. What’s more, they are illegal,” said Garden State Equality of Del Borrello’s GOP contract, which outlines priorities for empowering parents, removing political indoctrination from schools, and restoring respect for law enforcement.

The five points of the Del Borrello contract are:

  1. Support legislation that requires schools to provide parents with a summary of the curriculum to be taught to their child in the current school year, and allows parents to opt their child out of any curriculum that they believe is in conflict with their conscience or sincerely held moral or religious beliefs.
  2. Block Attorney General Matt Platkin’s directive that prohibits teachers and school staff from notifying parents if their child chooses to exhibit a change in his or her gender identity, or when students request a public social transition accommodation, such as a name or pronoun change, or a bathroom, locker room, club, or sports accommodation.
  3. Support legislation that prohibits biological boys from playing competitive middle and high school sports against biological girls.
  4. Repeal the law that allows people under 21 to simply walk away from a police officer who is questioning them about marijuana or alcohol use.
  5. Defend and maintain the ability for parents to claim a religious exemption from childhood vaccinations and oppose any efforts to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for New Jersey’s public-school children.

Moriarty called Del Borrello’s plan a “5-Point MAGA Manifesto” and accused him of wanting to bring “Southern MAGA Republican Politics to New Jersey.”

Moriarty defended his own record on parental rights, but he has not joined in support of legislation that would require schools to disclose certain student records and information to their parent or legal guardian.

Attorney General Matt Platkin filed a lawsuit against three New Jersey school boards alleging that their parental notification policies were a violation of the law and student’s civil rights.

Judge Bauman, who is overseeing the case, ruled in favor of an injunction against the schools to put a temporary hold on the schools from implementing their policies.

Moriarty said that he has always stood on the side of parental rights, that he has sponsored legislation protecting police and first responders, and that he has opposed cuts to public safety funding.

He accused Del Borrello of being out of touch with the needs of South Jersey residents as the New York Post editorial board slammed Murphy and New Jersey Democrats, accusing them of possessing a “vast arrogance” on the issue of schools informing parents of their children’s gender identity.

“New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy doesn’t think parents have a right to know of major decisions their kids make at school about their gender identities — even as the state pressures staffs to honor the kids’ choices,” the New York Post stated.

Moriarty supported New Jersey laws that protect transgender students and employees.

The Law Against Discrimination (LAD) makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on their gender identity or expression. A second state law, adopted in July 2017, requires the Department of Education to develop guidelines for transgender students

“On behalf of our 150,000 members across the Garden State, we work closely with leaders in Trenton to ensure the communities we serve experience lived equality. Throughout our endorsement process, we carefully consider what each candidate will do to help marginalized communities across our state, through schools, healthcare, and much more,” said Garden State Equality Action Fund Executive Director Christian Fuscarino when the group announced its support for Moriarty in 2021.


These policies have negative effects on LGBTQ+ students and make them even more vulnerable to harassment and discrimination. What’s more, they are illegal.

Garden State Equality characterized Del Borrello’s plan as a set of extremist anti-LGBTQ+ policies that minimize the experiences of, stigmatize, and endanger LGBTQ+ young people in our schools.

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