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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 5, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 40
Meet the real Scott Brown
Section One
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Meet the real Scott Brown

Why LGBTs should care about the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts

by D'Anne Witkowski - SGN Contributing Writer

There are a few things you should know about U.S. Senator Scott Brown. First, he's a Republican. Second, he currently represents Massachusetts in Washington, D.C., after replacing Sen. Ted Kennedy, a Democrat, in a special election held after Kennedy's death in 2010. Third, Brown is currently campaigning to keep his seat against the formidable Elizabeth Warren, a highly progressive Democrat. And finally, Brown, despite his 'moderate' reputation inside the Beltway and in the mainstream media, is no friend to the LGBT community (Warren is, though).

Oh, and he also posed naked (with a carefully positioned wrist) for Cosmopolitan magazine in 1982, when he was 22, which is probably the least offensive thing he's ever done. (Side note: if Warren had done the same thing, her political career would be D.O.A. Aren't double standards fun?)

While Brown's campaign is currently focused on proving that Warren is a 'fake Indian,' make no mistake - his re-election would not just be terrible for people with Native American ancestry who look white. It would also be a raw deal for LGBT Americans, not just in Massachusetts but everywhere.

TAKING MASSACHUSETTS BACKWARD
Massachusetts may be the state that first brought legal marriage for Gays and Lesbians to America, but Brown believes that 'marriage is between a man and a woman.' Granted, he told CNN's Piers Morgan that 'it's settled law in Massachusetts, quite frankly, and people have moved on,' but Brown himself has not. At least not to the point that he's willing to let his state's married Gay and Lesbian couples be recognized nationwide. Brown supports the Defense of Marriage Act and also supported former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's use of a 1913 anti-interracial marriage law to keep out-of-state couples from coming to Massachusetts to get hitched.

Brown also does not support the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (because, you know, 'states' rights' are more important). He also repeatedly voted in favor of an anti-Gay constitutional amendment in Massachusetts, and essentially gave the middle finger to LGBT youth by refusing to participate in the It Gets Better video made by the state's congressional delegation.

GAY PARENTING 'NOT NORMAL'
I suppose his absence isn't that surprising considering that, according to MassEquality.org, 'in 2001 during a session of the Massachusetts legislature, Brown referred to the decision of then-State Senator Cheryl Jacques to have children [with her domestic partner, Jennifer Chrisler] as 'not normal.' He also described her parenting role as her 'alleged family responsibilities.'

Get it? Because she's a Lesbian, her family doesn't really count, so her 'responsibilities' are play-pretend.

Oh, and according to Think Progress, Brown once attributed his opposition to Gay marriage to 'a personal belief, based on my religious upbringing. It's just my feeling.' In other words, 'I oppose marriage equality because I feel like it.'

Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand, is out and proud about her support for LGBT equality. According to Think Progress, Warren said, 'As other states grapple with whether to support marriage equality, I'm ready to move to the next step - [ending] the two-tiered system created by the Defense of Marriage Act. Our federal government should not be in the business of selecting which married couples it supports and which it treats with contempt.'

As RuPaul would say, 'Can I get an 'Amen' up in here?'

Massachusetts, please don't let us down.

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