What is OGU?
We are young and old, gay and straight, Democrat and Republican.  We are full time residents, part timers, homeowners, renters,  business owners and friends of Ocean Grove.  We are united by our love of Ocean Grove and our desire to maintain the diversity and neighborliness that makes our town so special.

Why was OGU formed?
OGU formed in 2007, in response to the decision by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association to prohibit the use of the boardwalk pavilion for civil union ceremonies.  A local couple filed a complaint with the NJ Division on Civil Rights alleging that this prohibition represented a denial of their civil rights.  A group of friends and neighbors also felt a strong need to respond to the unfairness of this denial and the organization has steadily grown.  In 2012, after a period of litigation, the Division on Civil Rights ruled in favor of the couple.

Over the years, OGU has become a catalyst for positive change in Ocean Grove.  Our mission has remained the same and our focus has evolved as issues and local crises have occurred.   As we have established a deeper connection to the community, we have become a key organization in forging ties of friendship among all the diverse people who live in our town.

What are all the blue and yellow flags?
The equality flag is the symbol of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC strives to end discrimination and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. Flying the equality flag sends a powerful message - it lets your neighbors know you are committed to guaranteeing the civil rights of all members of the Ocean Grove community.

What have we accomplished?
In our response to the denial of using the boardwalk pavilion for civil unions, we have raised the consciousness of many on the issue of marriage equality and have thus helped bring marriage equality to New Jersey.   We have also informed the community of the seriousness of bullying and the dangers of heeding those who use hurtful language.  We have helped those in need with fund raisers for local organizations such as Mary’s Place, the Monmouth Ocean Food Bank, St. Paul’s Food Pantry as well as fund raisers for those affected by two large fires in town.  We have helped local businesses by organizing events, brunches, and dinners in their establishments during the non-tourist season and distributing a coupon book for local businesses.  Most recently we have worked with the Camp Meeting Association to raise funds for the boardwalk which was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy and co-sponsored an amazing town picnic.  Through all these activities we have emphasized talking and working together to build a community where we can all feel included and respected.

Where are we headed?
We continue to meet with all the local Ocean Grove civic organizations to  maintain the sense of inclusiveness and mutual respect that has developed over the past several years.  We are open to ideas for projects and would love to hear from you.

How can I participate?

  • Keep informed – read the OGU website, follow us on Facebook,  and sign up for our email news
  • Fly an equality flag – available at Seasons on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove.
  • Attend an OGU event.   
  • March with OGU in the annual 4th of July parade.
  • Talk to your neighbors about these issues and enjoy the special town spirit that is Ocean Grove.

 

 

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