Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gov Candidates Gabrieli and Patrick Favor "Transgender Rights"

Candidates Chris Gabrieli (L) and Deval Patrick (R) at
GLBT Forum, Harvard Law School, Sept. 12, 2006

This photo is all you need to know about Democrat Governor candidates Chris Gabrieli and Deval Patrick! Which is probably why they don't want you to see it... It appeared briefly on Bay Windows' online frontpage, with an article short on details of what the two men said at the GLBT forum held at Harvard Law School on Sept. 12.(Candidate Tom Reilly was unable to make the forum.) Then the article and photo disappeared from Bay Windows' online edition during the day today. Another article in Bay Windows, under "Pressing the Flesh," gives some more details of the discussion. (We guess that one of those campaigns demanded the photo and front pager be taken down immediately! Now that should make the GLBT lobby wonder how proud these candidates really are of their alliance.)
InNewsWeekly, one of the co-sponsors of the event, still has its article posted: Having two of the candidates, though, was nothing less than historic, said David Johnson of the National Association of Lesbian and Gay Journalists (NLGJA), which sponsored the event along with In Newsweekly, the Boston Pride Committee and HLS Lambda (Harvard Law School's GLBT student organization). "The fact that two of the candidates are willing to show up is a major positive for Massachusetts," said Johnson. "This is the first time that any of our [NLGJA] 25 chapters has been able to hold a forum at this level." And it won't be the last, not if these same sponsors have anything to do with it. They have already started discussing the possibility of the Democratic nominee facing Lt. Governor Kerry Healey in a similar forum prior to the November election.

A friend of ours attended the forum. The write-up in MassNews today (see below) is pretty good, but what caught our eye was that the discussion of "transgenderism" was not just put into a "non-discrimination" context. It was also part of a discussion of "HATE CRIMES." And Patrick admitted his confusion on transgenderism -- he does not understand it, has not really thought it through, and finds it difficult -- yet pledged support for its inclusion in nondiscrimination and hate crimes laws! Gabrieli said he has educated himself on transgenderism, and we would be better off if the law actually specified this issue. Some employers are having to deal with discrimination on this particular issue already, he said. [From InNewsWeekly:]
The two candidates also voiced a need to learn more about the transgender community. Patrick said he would take "concrete steps" to protect the transgender community by extending the state's hate crime laws and broadening civil rights laws to include "those who identify across genders." Gabrieli also said that during the gubernatorial race, he's "come to understand that gender identity and expression is different from sexual orientation."
Gabrieli thinks that the Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in the schools are great, and should even be extended to the middle schools. Patrick agreed, and said that they also benefit straight children.
Gabrieli reportedly said that the Catholic Church took away the "right" of homosexual couples to adopt. Both candidates were asked "how they’d go about bringing into compliance the Fall River and Worcester offices of Catholic Charities, both of whom refuse to facilitate adoptions for same-sex couples, in violation of the state’s nondiscrimination law." (Bay Windows) Gabrieli said studies (unspecified) show that gay and lesbian parents have been found as good if not better than heterosexual parents. He said gay marriage is not a religious issue, but a state issue. He believes the 1913 law banning out-of-state couples marrying (if the marriage would be unlawful in their home state) should be repealed.
The moderator was Massachusetts' first openly homosexual judge, Dermot Meagher.
From MassNews: "The Debate That Gabrieli and Patrick Don’t want you to Know About; They Agree Schools Should Have Longer Hours to Teach About Sexual Orientation."
In his opening statement, Chris Gabrieli made the obligatory statement about how he was a supporter of gay marriage. He went farther to endear himself to his audience by saying that he even hosted a gay marriage “fundraiser” in his own home. To “prove” that he was really on board, he then told the audience that when he had the gay marriage fundraiser, he invited his small children down from their rooms to “teach them a lesson” about how they need to be supportive of gay marriage. His children are: John, 12; Abigail, 11; Polly, 9; Lilla, 7; Nicholas, 5.
Later in the debate, Gabrieli upped the ante once again. He said that even middle schools should have Gay and Straight Alliance clubs and that he wanted to “create longer school days so sexual orientation issues can be taught.” He called Massachusetts a “Blue State laboratory for progressive issues.”
Deval Patrick had no disagreements with Gabrieli, who kept talking in order to hold the homosexual high ground against Patrick. Although Patrick initially conceded that he didn’t understand issues like Transgenderism very well, Gabrieli’s insistence that there should be specific laws protecting transgendered and cross-dressers forced Patrick to affirm that he too, was in favor of specific legislation protecting the rights of transgendered individuals. ... Both candidates stated that they believed in the SJC gay marriage decision, and that they supported more legislation and action by the Governor’s office to extend new rights to the GLBT community.