Legislation was introduced in Woodbury, N.J., City Council last week to repeal an obscure anti-cross-dressing law in the town. Although police don’t enforce the law, violators face 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The legislation will be the focus of a public hearing 7 p.m. Dec. 12 in Woodbury City Hall, 33 Delaware St. Following public comments, officials are expected to hold a final vote.
Woodbury has about 10,000 residents and serves as the county seat of Gloucester County, N.J.
The city recently embarked on multiple initiatives to help ensure a welcoming environment for LGBT residents, visitors and workers. Repealing the anti-cross-dressing law is an extension of those efforts, city leaders said.
In a Nov. 30 email, Woodbury Mayor Jessica M. Floyd said: “[W]e realized the need for change and quickly acted on it. Moving forward, we will continue to look into our outdated ordinances and update them accordingly.”
Woodbury Community Pride President Anthony Doran said in an email: “[W]e are future-focused and we at Woodbury Community Pride look forward to a continued relationship with stakeholders to make Woodbury the most LGBTQ-friendly town in South Jersey.”
Doran added: “As an LGBTQ resident, I am proud our city leadership is swift and responsive to the needs of its constituents.”
David J. Root Jr., an openly gay resident of Woodbury who contends he has had negative interactions with the police department and residents, expressed mixed feelings about the repeal legislation.
“You can change all of the laws you want. But you cannot change the attitudes and beliefs of certain groups of people.”