If you don't know Paul through his public service (President of the Hoboken YMCA Board of Directors, Hoboken Historic Preservation Commission Chairman) maybe you read about him...
Because in 2013 he and (the wonderful) Allen Kratz were the first Hoboken same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license at Hoboken City Hall! The blessed event made local and national news!
Paul was also the head of the now-defunct Gay Alliance of Hudson County (GAAHC) and Allen was the head of the statewide New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition (NJLGC).
Paul and Allen attended last Wednesday's BoE meeting to support School Board member Irene Sobolov- the target of a cheap shot resolution sponsored by John Madigan, seconded by Peter Biancamano.
The resolution was a political stunt, nearly two weeks in the making, demanding that Sobolov resign her Board seat after sending a "controversial text" by accident to Board members.
The 'worst' part of the stunt: shopping the story to local and national media outlets. Vicious!
In fact, new information coming in to GA makes it clear the target of the calculated political operation was not Sobolov, it was Mayor Zimmer. Wait until you hear about that...
But I digress...
After the BoE meeting I asked Paul if he could write down his thoughts about the Madigan BoE stunt.
Thank you for this, Paul:
Ruminations of a Somerville
"For me, the most disturbing part of last night’s inept stunt was that what was perceived to be a homophobic slight, quickly became an exploitation of sexual minorities, (at least 15-20% of whom are students in the schools, which the members of the Board of Education are sworn to serve). Those in attendance had to digest the nauseating mock outrage on the part of three board members, one of whom – and I’m being generous here - has a less than stellar reputation with the gay community and women, for comments he has made in public. To paraphrase what I remember saying last night: Exploiting sexual minorities for a political opportunity is a reprehensible act.
While it was very heartening to witness and participate in the well-deserved support for Irene Sobolov, someone I’ve known most of her life, I was sorry that this stunt happened at all, eclipsing the good work coming out of our schools, as evidenced by the program and awards the students participated in earlier in the meeting, as well as Dr. Johnson’s report outlining the amazing things our students are accomplishing in their young lives.
It did not go unnoticed by this business owner that we now have financial accountability, unlike the bad old days of no-show patronage jobs and no-bid contracts, in a school system that was graduating high school students who were illiterate. Heck, we had three more principals than we did schools back in the day!
Alarm bells went off in my head when Mr. Madigan ironically revealed his own homophobia, by harping many times on the fact that one of the recipients was a “married father of two”, as if somehow by being the intended target of a text, written to point out the implausibility of the relationship between Councilman DeFusco, Mr. Madigan and the “married father”, would raise suspicions about that man’s sexuality, the implication being that being associated with anything gay was bad."