A local political blogger in Hoboken recently posted a homophobic attack on Councilman Mike DeFusco, who became the first openly gay candidate to win local office in Hudson County four years ago and is currently running for re-election. The post contains several disturbing references, including that DeFusco is “looking for a date,” doing “chinups in the men’s room stall” and “arm-pit sniffing,” among other salacious attacks. The entire post evokes the troubled history of members of the LGBTQ community being attacked simply for expressing themselves, which is completely out of step with Hoboken’s values as a progressive, welcoming city.
“The use of homophobic and disturbing language against anyone, including an openly gay councilman, cannot be dismissed or tolerated in any of our neighborhoods,” said Lauren Albrecht, Chair of the New Jersey State Democratic LGBTQ Caucus. “Comments like this are purposely intended to make negative and passive inferences to the LGBTQ community and only aim to set us back in the progress we have made to achieve true equality. Councilman DeFusco has always been a great friend to the LGBTQ community and now it’s time for everyone in Hoboken to take a stand against remarks that attack a public servant for his sexuality.”
The post was authored by local blogger Nancy Pincus, a paid political operative for Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Pincus has a reputation of working with administration to attack members of the City Council who do not always align with the mayor’s political agenda.
“It’s an open secret that Nancy Pincus works alongside the Mayor to promote his political agenda on her blog, but using any platform to share remarks that intentionally offend the LGBTQ community is simply unacceptable,” said Councilman Mike DeFusco. “Over the past four years, I’ve been proud to work alongside the administration to advance equality in Hoboken with progressive legislation and open conversations. Unfortunately while the Mayor promotes Hoboken as an accepting city for everyone, he’s complicit in spreading this divisive language by allowing his paid political blogger to make attacks like this from behind a screen. If we wish to continue identifying Hoboken as an inclusive community, we must all take a stand against comments like this, regardless of where we stand politically.”
The State Democratic LGBTQ Caucus is asking for Councilman DeFusco’s opponent, Mayor Bhalla and his entire council slate to denounce this rhetoric and send a clear message that intolerant speech and discrimination have no home in Hoboken.