Garden State Equality founder to depart
by Angela Thomas
Jan 10, 2013 | 1219 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The founder and longtime leader of New Jersey’s statewide LGBT-rights organization announced last week that he is leaving his post.

Garden State Equality chair and CEO Steven Goldstein will step down later this month to take a position as associate chancellor for external relations at Rutgers University-Newark.

Troy Stevenson, who previously worked as managing director for the organization, will take over Jan. 21. Goldstein will continue to carry the title of founder and chair emeritus following his departure.

Goldstein, who founded GSE in 2004, taught at Rutgers-Newark during the fall semester. As associate chancellor, Goldstein’s duties will include government relations and communications. He will also continue to teach.

“No other opportunity could have pulled me away from the work I love so much,” Goldstein said in a public statement about the Rutgers offer.

Goldstein praised the growth Garden State Equality went through since its founding; it now boasts 124,850 members, who Goldstein said were integral in advancing more than 200 civil-rights laws at the state, county and local levels.

“Because of your passion, Garden State Equality’s achievements have been legion,” he told supporters.

Among the state’s recent advancements were the 2006 measure instituting civil unions for same-sex couples; the inclusion of gender identity into the nondiscrimination law and hate-crimes laws in 2006 and 2008, respectively; the 2008 measure that enabled paid family leave for same-sex partners; and the tough LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying law passed in 2011.

Goldstein said the organization should continue to focus on youth advocacy through its Youth Caucus.

He said he is optimistic about LGBT progress in 2013 in the Garden State.

“[There were] 213 LGBT civil-rights laws in Garden State Equality’s first eight years, and the best is yet to come,” he said. “The organization will soar higher with me as a member than it ever reached with me as its leader. That is what the founder of any organization must want, and what this founder truly wants.”

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