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LGBT Activists Hope Booker Will Run For N.J. Governor

Booker: 'No Matter What I Choose, N.J. Will Have Marriage Equality'
Cory Booker (credit: Twitter)

Cory Booker (credit: Twitter)

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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The LGBT community in New Jersey is hoping Newark Mayor Cory Booker will make a run for governor.

In a tweet Sunday responding to an NJ.com article, Booker, a Democrat, remained non-committal about the possibility of a run for governor, but committed to gay rights.

“No matter what I choose, NJ will have Marriage Equality,” he tweeted.

Current Republican Gov. Chris Christie in February vetoed a gay marriage bill that was approved by the New Jersey State Assembly. But NJ.com notes Booker has won over the LGBT community by making equality and acceptance a priority since he took office in 2006.

He has raised the pride flag at the Newark City Hall, formed a commission to create a safe haven for gay youth, and refused to officiate at any weddings until gay marriage rights are approved in New Jersey, NJ.com reported.

Steve Goldstein, chairman of the gay rights organization Garden State Equality, told NJ.com he would go door-to-door across the country to raise money if Booker decides to run, and Barbra Casbar Siperstein, the first transgender party delegate in New Jersey, told the publication that many gay rights groups are eager to hold fundraisers on Booker’s behalf.

“I got calls from friends from probably the biggest LGBT Democratic club in Florida that they wanted to do fundraisers for him. They really want to support him,” Siperstein told 1010 WINS. “He’s quite inspirational, and from what I can see, he’s the real deal.”

Siperstein said before Booker, LGBT people had little voice in New Jersey.

“People ignored LGBT people. There was no recognition, and he actually reached out. He was the first. He took the first overt, positive steps to recognize the LGBT community, and to engage them.”

In his address at the Democratic National Convention, NJ.com recalled, Booker said the question of gay marriage being legalized in New Jersey was not a matter of if, but when, and remarked that he “might even have a very good seat when it gets done.”

Whom do you want to see as the next New Jersey governor? Leave your comments below…