The Rainbow Times Endorses Ed Markey for Senate
By: The Rainbow Times’ Editorial Staff*—
When The Rainbow Times was found in 2006, our mission centered on bringing communities together, educating others about LGBTQ+ issues that existed within the community itself, and outside of it. It served as a means to bridge the gap of understanding between the mainstream population and the LGBTQ+ community, including its intersectional identities while shattering stereotypes about it. Senator Ed Markey also shatters stereotypes.
We have been fortunate to have a fearless leader like Senator Markey on our side for decades, fighting the “good fight” and getting into “good trouble” as the late Rep. John Lewis would say. Senator Markey has demonstrated exemplary progressive leadership before the word “progressive” became popular within our equal rights’ struggles. While some candidates vying for public office still seek out what matters to Massachusetts voters, Senator Markey knows. He was on the hill getting it done without a modicum of hesitancy while placing all of his constituents at the forefront. Senator Markey’s persistence for human and civil rights is what has made him a formidable LGBTQ+ champion.
His leadership to ensure marriage equality was pivotal to same-sex couples, whose marriage was finally recognized under the law. His vote against DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) demonstrated that he was not beholden to special interest groups when it came to issues of equality, being one of only 67 representatives to vote against it. And it did not end there. He engaged in legislation to repeal it for over two decades! If that doesn’t show loyalty and the valiant actions of a staunch ally, we don’t know what will.
Senator Markey was also an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act, an Act that would extend civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ people. He has been more than an LGBTQ+ ally, he has been in the trenches with us to ensure that all of our community members have their rights recognized too, as it should be, under the Constitution. His effectiveness is no surprise with over 500 pieces of legislation under his belt.
On June 12, 2016, the LGBTQ+ community faced the greatest assault against it in the mass shooting at PULSE Orlando. In that slaughter, KJ Morris, a friend and former colleague of The Rainbow Times was murdered. Shortly thereafter, still recognizing the injustices against the LGBTQ+ community, the Senator worked across the aisle in an effort to end discriminatory blood donation policies.
Before joining the Senate, when he served in the House, the senator opposed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and voted in favor to repeal the ban on openly gay service members so we all could be out and proud while still serving our country. And, in the fighting Markey spirit, he came forward and vehemently denounced President Trump’s unjust transgender military ban.
The senator understands that justice should be found in courtrooms, not arbitrary rulings rooted in hate. That is why he co-authored the “Gay and Trans Panic Defense Prohibition Act” to end the use of so-called “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses in federal court. Likewise, locally, he was a vocal supporter of the “Yes On 3” campaign, which reaffirmed transgender protections in public spaces throughout the commonwealth.
A number of years ago, some of our own were fortunate to be a part of a round table discussion on bringing international rights and protections to the global LGBTQ+ community. It was then, around 2012, that he brought up his concern for international LGBTQ+ rights when he learned that gay people were being murdered at the thought of being gay. There was no one other legislator locally who had brought this human rights issue to the forefront, but Senator Markey did. While we had the pleasure of sitting down with him at the time, his empathetic nature, humble roots, willingness to listen and sharing his seasoned expertise made us realize the kind of leader the Senator really is and has always proven to be, as evidenced by his long civic, human and environmental rights votes and stances.
Joining forces with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Markey continues to pave the way in the Senate to preserve our planet and tackle climate change head-on, all while creating more jobs and planning for our collective future, an initiative he has fought for since being elected to Congress in his young adulthood. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for Senator Markey’s co-authored legislation in the 1980s, signed by then Pres. Reagan, we may not have the energy-efficient appliances that we do today, which has saved billions of dollars for Americans while eliminating toxic emissions from traditional coal power plants.
He co-led the bipartisan effort to raise fuel economy standards for cars and trucks that resulted in the 2007 law that brought forth new, innovative low-emissions and electric vehicles to the marketplace and reduced Americans’ consumption of oil, said the Boston Globe in their endorsement of Markey. Fast forward to 2020. The Green New Deal (GND), is a game-changer for the environment, longevity of our planet, and our present and future livelihood. Simply stated, the GND is designed to create jobs by the millions, boost the economy, and save our planet in the process. With climate change decimating us, this resolution is critical to the viability of humankind.
Likewise, through the Green New Deal, the disparities of marginalized groups are not foregone in Markey’s resolution. The GND is designed to counteract systemic injustices too.
“A Green New Deal is about jobs, and it is about justice,” Sen. Markey said online. “It would be the greatest blue-collar jobs program in a generation and repair the historic oppression of frontline and vulnerable communities that have born the worst burdens of our fossil fuel economy, all while saving the planet. Our Green New Deal resolution outlines an historic ten-year mobilization that will mitigate climate emissions and build climate resiliency. We can create high-quality jobs and enforce labor standards, guarantee rights to retirement security and health care, and conduct inclusive decision-making in this Green New Deal.”
Markey has made a commitment to the most marginalized within the LGBTQ+ that goes beyond the environment.
The Senator doesn’t just talk the talk, but through direct advocacy, to the sponsorship of critical bills, to working within those Congressional chambers, to steady the ship against the onslaught of attacks by the Trump administration, Senator Markey is the kind of leader that we know will do right by us, because he has already done right by our community. With all of the chaos of these times, we look to Senator Markey to help us steady the ship now, too.
There is no doubt that the senator has been in the political arena for several years and while some may claim that the long-term experience is a liability, we consider it an invaluable asset. Senator Markey doesn’t just occupy the seat to simply fill it. This isn’t about ego for him. He leads with conviction, standing on his own two feet, letting past votes and stances prove to us how he will stand by our side and vote with us in mind in the future. His actions alone have propelled him to be recognized as an esteemed Senator, the Deal Maker!
While we fully support primary challenges and believe they are a necessary component to help create a stronger and more accountable democracy, especially where leaders have failed their constituents, we cannot find a plausible reason for Congressman Joseph Kennedy III to take on incumbent Senator Markey after his solid and forward-thinking track record. We applaud Congressman Kennedy’s commitment to serving the LGBTQ+ community (and endorsed him in 2016) and recognize his strengths and progressive ideals especially as they pertain to LGBQ+ and trans rights. Such work should not be overlooked, which is why this primary challenge perplexed us at the core.
Sen. Markey has lead the charge for countless progressive causes that, as a result, have strengthened us as a nation. We see no reason to attempt to unseat an incumbent Senator that has demonstrated exemplary leadership and commitment to the betterment of us all while remembering those in the most precarious positions in America. That is not something that can be learned, but instead, something that is born out of growing up as a member of a disadvantaged group himself—someone who had to be without and work hard to get to where he is today.
Senator Markey has demonstrated to the LGBTQ+ community and its vast intersectionalities rooted in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic status; and to hard-working Americans, that their fight is his fight. He has proven it time and time again by fighting for those of us without a voice.
There is a reason why some of the most vocal proponents of progressive change such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Senator Cory Booker, among others—to endless organizations focused on people of color, unions, local politicians and nearly all major players representing ardent progressive causes have all come out in endorsement of Sen. Markey.
The Rainbow Times was proud to endorse Ed Markey for Senate back in 2013 due to his staunch leadership in the House. Today, we are proud to stand with the Senator once again as we throw our full support behind his re-election campaign. As the Senator recently said in a campaign ad, “With all due respect, it’s time to start asking what your country can do for you.”
Senator Markey may not be one to boast about his steadfast leadership that has undoubtedly enhanced thousands of lives across the commonwealth—perhaps that comes from his humble upbringing—but we see it, we see what you’ve done, we believe in what you will continue to do and The Rainbow Times proudly and emphatically endorses Senator Ed Markey once again in 2020.
After learning of The Rainbow Times‘ endorsement, which happened LIVE at the event, Senator Markey shared a heartfelt moment in gratitude for the endorsement.
“It’s an incredible honor to have the endorsement of The Rainbow Times, which is New England’s Largest LGBTQ+ newspaper. The Rainbow Times has long served our community with the most up-to-date news, thoughtful reporting, and an incredible progressive voice,” said the Senator during his speech to a crowd of approximately two hundred supporters (along with Senator Joan Lovely, Rep. Paul Tucker and member of the Governor’s Council Eileen Duff, among others) gathered at Salem Willows Park during his campaign bus tour. “I’m so grateful to David, and Graysen and Nicole, to have their publication’s support. Thank you so much!
“It just an incredible tribute that you have no idea how much it means to me. … I’m getting a little emotional just thinking about this history that I have and your willingness to step up to make that kind of a statement.”
*TRT’s Editorial Board is composed of various editors and senior reporters that conduct research, past and present, on various issues pertaining to political candidates on LGBTQ+ issues, intersectionalities, and other important issues, as expressed by our readers. This endorsement piece does not necessarily reflect the views of TRT, LLC, or its management.