By: TRT Editorial Team—
With the Tuesday, Sept.9, primary election fast approaching, The Rainbow Times reiterates its initial June 7 endorsement of Maura Healey for attorney general. In re-stating our support for her,let us provide additional reasons why the LGBT community should turn out in full force for Healey.
No question that this is a close race — the one to watch, as a recent WGBH “Greater Boston” debate/forum, featuring Healy and her opponent suggests (http://goo.gl/H8U1N5):
Clearly, the two candidates offer different views on the role of the attorney general.
LGBT voters could well provide her with a victory margin.
Keep in mind that The Rainbow Times is not alone in its backing of Healey, who has picked up other key endorsements, including important organizational ones, namely MassEquality, The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), EMILY’s List, Feminist Majority, and LPAC—The Lesbian Super PAC, a political action committee dedicated to the goal of “influencing elections by giving lesbians a meaningful seat at the political table,” according to its mission. [pullquote]HRC rarely endorses in state primaries, especially in down-ballot races, “but for Maura, it was important to speak out,” the organization stated. [/pullquote]
In its endorsement, HRC notes, “With DOMA’s defeat, Maura helped secure a victory that made all Americans more equal. Across the country, Attorneys General make decisions every day about bullying, hate crimes, and discrimination in employment and housing. As Attorney General, Maura will make the case that equality works.”
HRC also noted, “Healey devised the strategy, built the case and argued the first successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, won a national settlement with Apple to make its devices more accessible for people with disabilities, and led a first-in-the-nation program to keep victims of predatory lenders in their homes. She would be the first openly gay Attorney General in the nation and has made the fight for equality a hallmark of her campaign. She currently holds a narrow lead in public polls.”
HRC rarely endorses in state primaries, especially in down-ballot races, “but for Maura, it was important to speak out,” the organization stated.
With a mission of electing LGBT leaders to public office “because they change America’s politics,” The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, in its endorsement, noted Healey’s work in combatting bullying statewide in schools and her work in prosecuting anti-LGBT hate crimes, including her work with law enforcement on best practices. [pullquote]“Our Commonwealth needs Maura as our next chief law enforcement officer, improving lives and making history.” [/pullquote]
MassEquality’s executive director Kara Coredini called Healey “a visionary champion for the entire LGBT community,” adding, “Our Commonwealth needs Maura as our next chief law enforcement officer, improving lives and making history.”
“She’s the real deal,” said Coredini.
Longtime LGBT community leader Elyse Cherry of Newton also enthusiastically voiced support for Healey.
“The fact that Maura is positioned to become the country’s first openly-gay attorney general—the state’s chief law enforcement officer—is a wonderful comment on the progress we’ve made as a community,” said Cherry. “But, more importantly, voters are recognizing that Maura’s leadership on LGBT and other civil rights issues is a big part of why she’s the right choice. The LGBT community is behind her because of her work and her vision, not just her identity. It’s an exciting time.” [pullquote]“But, more importantly, voters are recognizing that Maura’s leadership on LGBT and other civil rights issues is a big part of why she’s the right choice. The LGBT community is behind her because of her work and her vision, not just her identity. It’s an exciting time.”—LGBT community leader Elyse Cherry of Newton[/pullquote]
A first-time candidate, Healey is truly impressive as she is out and about campaigning, enabling voters in the Commonwealth to get to know her. Healey, it seems, enjoys the effort, and voters are responding to her energy and commitment.
“People know I am really committed to this stuff. I have experience as a lawyer and manager,” she said earlier this year at Cambridge meet-and-greet forum (http://tiny.cc/trt_healey).
“I want to bring that energy and passion to this [race],” said Healey. “That message is resonating,” along with “my message of fairness and equality and being an advocate and understanding that this [office] is the people’s law firm.”
“I want to be the people’s point guard,” she added.
Sure enough, in her inaugural bid for public office, Healey holds impressive credentials, which include having served from 2007 to 2013 in the attorney general’s office first as the chief of the Civil Rights Division and then as chief of the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau, which oversees a range of operations including civil rights, healthcare, antitrust, environmental protection, consumer protection, and insurance and financial services.
That she is one of openly gay is one thing. That she led the charge in the U.S. District Court in the Commonwealth landmark challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act is yet another. Healey’s were the winning arguments of the nation’s first lawsuit striking down DOMA. [pullquote]“I look at this as Massachusetts and the Attorney General’s office ensuring that people’s rights are protected, ensuring and standing up for equal rights and non-discrimination.”—Maura Healey[/pullquote]
Before taking on DOMA, at the local law firm of Hale and Dorr (now WilmerHale), she was a key player in a legal challenge, albeit unsuccessful, to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a federal law and policy which banned openly gay military service. Congress has since repealed the discriminatory law.
Regarding the DOMA challenge, “I look at this as Massachusetts and the Attorney General’s office ensuring that people’s rights are protected, ensuring and standing up for equal rights and non-discrimination,” she told the website MassLive.com. “To me, that case epitomizes the power of the attorney general’s office and the positive role [that office] can play in representing the state and standing up for its people and their rights.”
Get out and vote for Maura Healey for attorney general in the Democratic primary. Become a part of her historic run for attorney general.