Menendez stands with leading women’s, LGBTQ advocates to condemn Hugin’s lifetime record of hate, bigotry
Hugin’s Princeton Record: threatening gay classmates, fighting to deny women access all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court
Princeton, NJ – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today joined leading LGBTQ and women’s rights advocates outside Princeton University to make the case why Republican Bob Hugin’s lifetime of hate and bigotry towards women and LGBTQ members makes him unfit to represent New Jersey. A Princeton alum and current member of the University’s Board of Trustees, Hugin’s record of intolerance began as an undergrad, when he made threatening statements against his gay classmates and actively fought to roll back anti-discriminations protections for LGBTQ students, and extended well into adulthood when he led the fight to deny women access to Princeton’s exclusive, all-male clubs.
“Time and time again, Bob Hugin stood on the wrong side of history, all the way back to his college years leading Princeton’s Tiger Inn eating club. In this role, Bob Hugin could have led by example. He could have been a voice for progress and inclusion. Instead, Bob Hugin stood in the way of LGBTQ progress and worked to preserve Princeton’s Tiger Inn as a haven for straight, wealthy white male privilege,” said Sen. Menendez. “New Jerseyans cannot trust Bob Hugin to stand up against the Trump Administration’s assaults on the rights of women, LGBTQ Americans, workers, and voters. New Jerseyans don’t need someone who will stand with Donald Trump—they need someone who will stand up to Trump.”
While an undergrad at Princeton in 1976 and a member of the exclusive, all-male Tiger Inn dining club, Bob Hugin made threatening statements meant to intimidate and shun his gay classmates. He was quoted in a news story at the time saying that if a member of the Tiger Inn were found to be gay, “they wouldn’t last long”. When gay rights activists on campus launched the Gay Alliance of Princeton and became targets of hate and bigotry, pelted with eggs and rocks and dorm rooms were vandalized, Hugin led a petition drive aimed at blocking the university from extending anti-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ community. Hugin explained to a reporter that before the university could extend basic protections to his LGBTQ classmates, “students as a whole should have a say on something so controversial as this.”
“Bob Hugin is a con man on LGBTQ equality and a con man on social justice, just as his twin Donald Trump is a con man in the White House,” said Steven Goldstein, founder of Garden State Equality. “Are we supposed to believe that Bob Hugin, a right-wing extremist his entire life, is suddenly a progressive leader who fits a progressive state? If you believe that, I have overpriced Celgene medication to sell you.”
The greedy drug company CEO’s reign of intolerance continued as a married adult in his mid-30s, when as the Tiger Inn’s alumni president, he waged a years-long court battle to deny women access to Princeton’s exclusive, all-male eating clubs. After the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of student Sally Frank’s discrimination lawsuit, forcing women’s inclusion at the clubs, Hugin called it “politically correct fascism” and challenged the decision in the federal courts, taking the fight all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately refused to hear his case. After losing his protracted court battle, Hugin expressed disappointment and continued to defend his position.
“Electing Bob Hugin would mean sending to the Senate a minion of Donald Trump. He fought for more than a decade against women’s inclusion at Princeton, gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Trump, the Heritage Foundation and right-wing politicians that have voted repeatedly to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act, denying women access to the healthcare they deserve,” said Elizabeth Meyer, founder of the New Jersey Women’s March. “Are we to expect that Bob Hugin will suddenly enter the Senate a man who recognizes that he advocates for all New Jerseyans? His constituents would include my two young daughters, and I will not support a man that threatens to roll-back the rights of all of New Jersey’s daughters and marches in lock step with Donald Trump.”
According to public records and tax information, Hugin has personally contributed $2.1 million dollars over the past 20-plus years to right-wing candidates, PACs and organizations that oppose a woman’s right to choose, LGBTQ equality, and women’s rights. He gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to help elect Donald Trump, even after Trump boasted about sexually assaulting women, served as his New Jersey finance chair, as a Trump delegate, and on Trump’s transition team. He has since come out in support of both Trump Supreme Court nominees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, after the president said he would only nominate justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. A Kavanaugh appointment would shift the high court to the extreme, far-right and threaten to erase decades of progress made on women’s, LGBTQ and civil rights.
“There is no way to overstate what’s at stake for the LGBTQ community in this election, especially with U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin, whose disturbingly anti-LGBTQ actions should give everyone pause,” said Marsha Shapiro and Louise Walpin, the lead plaintiffs in New Jersey’s landmark marriage equality case. “Those of us in the LGBTQ community know a threat of violence when we hear it. Hugin’s comments weren’t just politically incorrect; they were terrorizing. Bob Hugin’s actions were indicative of a movement to suppress and intimidate countless LGBTQ people into silence, subordination, and even suicide.”
Hugin was the top donor to Chris Christie, who defunded Planned Parenthood and women’s health as governor, donated to House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has led the crusade in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rep. Tom McArthur, and gave $500,000 to the extremist Heritage Foundation. Hugin has also historically backed anti-gay politicians like Scott Garrett, co-founder of the radical House Freedom Caucus, and the late North Carolina senator and segregationist Jesse Helms.