Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Openly Gay Candidates

Massachusetts continues to make history. We are lucky to have three pro-equality candidates running for governor. My favorite, Deval Patrick, is a strong supporter of LGBT rights. Independent Christy Mihos also supports same-sex marriage.

This election year also brings a few openly gay candidates. For the first time in
Massachusetts history, an out lesbian is running for governor. Grace Ross is the Green-Rainbow Party's candidate for the corner office. She has been active in the fight for social justice for a long time, including the struggle for LGBT rights.

Grace is an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage. She also knows that there are many other important issues facing our community. In a recent In Newsweekly article she said, "In some way, gay marriage is the icing on the cake. The real issue is that GLBT people don't have the same level of safety on the street."

The Democratic Party has an openly gay candidate again this year. There are a few out
legislators in Massachusetts already. Sarah Peake could very likely be added to the list after November's election. She is running in the Fourth Barnstable District, which is located on upper Cape Cod. Sarah is currently a selectperson in Provincetown.

Sarah ran against the Republican incumbent, Shirley Gomes, and lost two yeas ago. Gomes is retiring when her term ends this year. Sarah is a great candidate and an enthusiastic supporter of LGBT equality. She will make an excellent addition to the team of openly gay legislators already on Beacon Hill.

Sarah's opponent is an openly gay Republican named Aaron Maloy. Sadly though, he has taken a stand against LGBT equality. In a recent Bay
Windows article he "recalls being called a “fag” and doused with salad dressing by a fellow student. He hints that his experiences spurred him into gay activism during his teen years, but declines to elaborate for fear of alienating his conservative supporters."

As for marri
age, Maloy says it “is an institution between a man and a woman and I think that it’s part of the heterosexual culture. I don’t buy the whole separate but equal thing”. When he is asked about how banning equal marriage rights would affect him, Maloy answers, “It is probably going to hurt me”.

The Green-Rainbow Party has another openly gay candidate this year.
Owen Broadhurst is running for State Representative in the Third Hampden District. The western Massachusetts district consists of the towns of Agawam, Granville, Russell and Southwick.

Owen has been out of the closet for 16 years. He has been fighting for LGBT equality since he came out. He was a key player in the creation of the Green-Rainbow Party’s Equal Marriage Rights taskforce. He is also a strong advocate for safe schools and gay/straight alliances. On his website he states, "We must defend the growing Gay/ Straight Alliance movement in schools against continued efforts to level-fund or zero-fund their valuable and needed advocacy".

Congratulations to all of the openly gay candidates running in Massachusetts. This is how we make change. This is how we will win our struggle for LGBT civil rights. Being out, open, and honest is the way to win this fight.

Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person elected to public office in the United States once said, “You’ve gotta give them hope. Give hope to all those little girls and boys out there in America who need to believe that they do matter, and are capable of changing the world for the better. Without hope, not only gays, but blacks, seniors, handicapped, the us'es—the us'es will give up".

Seeing openly gay candidates running for public office gives me hope. I do believe that together we can change the world for the better.


At 9:23 AM, Blogger Ryan Adams said...

One of the best things this year is - all around the country - there have been so many minorities running for office and in great position to win. From Deval Patrick to many of these fabulous GLBT candidates (there's even a likely winner in Alabama!) - I really feel inspired.

One of my biggest fears when I came out was that I'd never really be able run for office, which is something I've always wanted to do. This election has destroyed those fears and given me so much hope. I don't even think it's going to be any harder!

I'm glad I'm not the only one recognizing just how diverse, comparatively speaking, this election season has seemed to be.

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Blue-Xela said...

It's true, in Mass. and around the country, we are drawing from a diverse and talented pool. The only real ugliness (from a casual spectator) is the tone of Healey's campaign. Why would anyone vote for her? She so nasty.

At 10:13 PM, Blogger John Hosty said...

Chris, we should use our websites to promote Deval Patrick. The nagative ad campaign that Healey is waging is having an effect. We can't afford to sit back and let her wittle his lead down and have a chance come election day. Let me know what you think we can do.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Blue-Xela said...

I've endorsed him today officially ...


If enough of the GLBT bloggers and Mass. blogger allies all endorse Deval, there may be some press opportunity in it.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Chris Mason said...

I have been out loud about my support for Deval from day one. He has been my candidate since April 2005. Before the primary election I used this forum to explain why I would be voting for him. I know that some of my readers did not agree or vote for him.

Now that all the Dems are unified behind one candidate, I think that most of my readers will be voting for Deval. I don't need to convince them anymore.

I think the best thing we can do is convince our readers to donate money to the campaign. I will put a "Donate to Deval" button on my page. I urge you to do the same.


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