Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Gay daughter of Christie's challenger blasts the gov

A daughter of state Sen. Barbara Buono, Christie's opponent in the November election, wrote a scathing letter today to Buono supporters on the governor's opposition to same-sex marriage. In it, Tessa Bitterman says she is a "gay American" and Christie is a "giant roadblock to New Jersey achieving equality for all."

Gay daughter of Christie's challenger blasts the gov

Democratic State Sen. Barbara Buono greets poll workers after voting in Metuchen in the primary earlier this month. (MEL EVANS / Associated Press)
Democratic State Sen. Barbara Buono greets poll workers after voting in Metuchen in the primary earlier this month. (MEL EVANS / Associated Press) MEL EVANS / Associated Press

The youngest daughter of state Sen. Barbara Buono, Christie's opponent in the November election, wrote a scathing letter today to Buono supporters on the governor's opposition to same-sex marriage. In it, Tessa Bitterman, a 22-year-old San Francisco resident following her mother's footsteps to law school, says she is a "gay American" and Christie is a "giant roadblock to New Jersey achieving equality for all."

Christie last year vetoed a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage, saying voters should decide in a referendum. But Democrats refused, saying civil rights shouldn't be put on the ballot.

Bitterman had been non-existent on the campaign trail up to this point. But she has surfaced during a major week for gay issues. In New Jersey, the Democratic Legislature is poised to send Christie a bill that would ban gay conversion therapy for minors. While gay conversion therapy -- in which therapists try to turn gays straight -- is not widespread in New Jersey, the issue will be seen as a litmus test of Christie's stance on gay issues. 

In far more significant news this week, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on same-sex marriage. 

Moments ago, I ran into Buono in the Statehouse cafeteria. She said it was her daughter's idea to send the letter, which she wrote on her own.

Here's the full text:

Growing up, my mom was always there for me no matter what. I’m gay and from an early age I felt free to express myself with my mother, knowing she would always support me for who I am.

As a gay American I have a stake in what our governor says about marriage equality. And I have been deeply shocked by Chris Christie. As governor, he has been a giant roadblock to New Jersey achieving equality for all. By failing to support marriage equality, Christie is blatantly delegitimizing an entire group of people.

I have also seen Chris Christie misrepresent himself as a moderate to New Jersey – that’s why it’s even more important to stop him before he takes his radical show on the road when he goes national after this election.

My mom is facing a huge deadline on June 30th at midnight. If we want to stop Christie – if we want to keep his politics of polarizing and dividing people from spreading beyond New Jersey – we’ve got to click here and donate to my mom’s campaign before the big deadline on Sunday.

Now that Christie is running for re-election, he is more than happy to try and portray himself as a moderate. But the truth is – his record scares me. It scares me because if he takes his brand of deception national, all Americans are in for a rude awakening.

It might not seem like a lot but anything you donate now will go a long way. Can you click here and donate today?

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