Open Letter: Where were you Steve … in 2010?

Gunner Scott Photo: Glenn Koetzner/The Rainbow Times

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Gunner Scott

Gunner Scott
Photo: The Rainbow Times/Glenn Koetzner

While I applaud Steve Grossman for his support of marriage, which happened 10 years ago now, where were you Steve when Charlie Baker, as well as most of the Republican legislators, were using the same mean spirited language about transgender youth, adults and families in 2010 and 2011? You cannot re-write history by calling him out now on his transphobia. Your voice was silent on challenging the hurtful myths and stereotypes about equal rights and equal access for transgender people in public accommodations back then.

Where is your voice and your record today on supporting and actively advocating for An Act Relative to Equal Access in Hospitals, Public Transportation, Nursing Homes, Supermarkets, Retail Establishments, and all other places open to the public (House Bill 1589/Senate Bill 643)?

How about your record on same-sex domestic violence funding? What about LGBTQ youth dealing with homelessness and respectful treatment in foster care? What about our LGBTQ elders, where is your record on that? How about discrimination against LGBTQ workers? What about equal access to and respectful treatment in healthcare? What about violence and hate crimes against LGBTQ youth and adults? [pullquote]While I applaud Steve Grossman for his support of marriage, which happened 10 years ago now, where were you Steve when Charlie Baker, as well as most of the Republican legislators, were using the same mean spirited language about transgender youth, adults and families in 2010 and 2011?[/pullquote]

The LGBTQ community is so much more than marriage and just the gay and lesbian part of the community.

There is a clear choice for Governor and who is there for the LGBTQ community on every issue, Martha Coakley.

When I met her in 2000, Martha was the Middlesex District Attorney (1999-2006) and she was standing up for victims of same-sex domestic violence, when only a handful of public officials were even talking about the issue of domestic violence in the LGBTQ community at that time.

Since going on to be our Attorney General, she was the first to follow the lead of the Governor in banning anti-transgender discrimination in her office.

She has been an advocate and vocal supporter of the Transgender Equal Rights bill since 2007. She testified in person before the Massachusetts Legislature in support the non-discrimination legislation. She lobbied aggressively every year alongside the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), MassEquality and other members of the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition to successfully secure passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill in 2011. [pullquote]How about your record on same-sex domestic violence funding? What about LGBTQ youth dealing with homelessness and respectful treatment in foster care? What about our LGBTQ elders, where is your record on that? How about discrimination against LGBTQ workers? … There is a clear choice for Governor and who is there for the LGBTQ community on every issue, Martha Coakley.[/pullquote]

She authored, championed and lobbied successfully for the passage of one of our country’s strongest anti-bullying laws for LGBTQ youth. She has been proactive in training law enforcement on investigating and prosecuting sexual orientation and gender identity hate crimes in the Commonwealth.

As for equal marriage, not only has she supported it, she sued the federal government for marriage equality – the first and only Attorney General in the country to do so – and won, winning the nation’s first court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. Because of that lawsuit, same-sex marriages across the country are now honored by the federal government.

LGBTQ youth, adults, and our families need someone who is going to fight for them on every issue, today and tomorrow. Martha Coakley’s record clearly shows that as Governor of Massachusetts she will stand up for LGBTQ people and is not afraid to go first.

—Gunner Scott, B.A.

Former Elected Massachusetts State Democratic Member & Former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (for identifying purposes only)