Monday, July 02, 2007

Senator Barrios Gives Farewell Speech

Senator Barrios, the only openly gay Massachusetts Senator, gave his farewell speech on the floor of the Senate Chamber today. He was introduced by Senator Wilkerson, who mentioned Barrios' husband in her remarks; "behind this great man, is a great man." She then paused and said, "you were supposed to laugh."

Senator Barrios' speech was very moving. He spoke about being yo
ung and realizing that he was gay. He found a book on a library shelve about an openly gay athlete. He was grateful to find that book because he was able to relate to what he read. It helped him to read about someone who had gone through it before him.

He spoke about when he first sought public office in 1997; he couldn't fin
d a book about running for office in Massachusetts with a name like "Barrios". He was the first, and still is the only, Latino Senator in Massachusetts. He had to write that book himself, as did many of his female colleagues in the Senate. However, after they write their own books, they will leave them on the shelve for others to pick up after them.

Senator Barrios has written a very powerful book in Massachusetts. He stood proud as an openly gay Senator and led the fight for safe schools for LGBT young people and against the discriminatory amendments that would have banned equal marriage rights. As he departs from the Senate, he will leave the book he has written on the shelve. Perhaps one day one of us will pick up that book.

2 Comments:

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Richard said...

Well said, my good brother! Onward and upward, helping each other the whole way.

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Senator Barrios was one of the two legislators that I looked for for advice back in June of 2005 when I came up with the idea of KnowThyNeighbor.org.

Jarrett gave what I was doing his FULL blessing and encouragement. With the later attacks that I received from within our own community, the knowledge that there were those in politics who weren't "playing politics" or the ego game for that matter, really really helped me continue doing what I knew to be right.

Thank you Senator and I wish you and your family the greatest successes.

 

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