Sunday, September 03, 2006

House Speaker DiMasi "Comes Out" & Other "Gay" Endorsements

We've been waiting patiently for a few years, but finally Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi has "come out" and acknowledged his very close ties with the Mass. Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus (MGLPC). DiMasi has proceeded cautiously, and after flying a few trial balloons (such as attending the MGLPC July fundraiser as guest of honor) without apparent public outrage, he's finally shown up on the official MGLPC endorsement list. (At the MGLPC fundraiser, DiMasi thanked his Italian immigrant grandfather as the source of his political wisdom! We're sure the old man had sodomy "marriage" in mind when he spoke of equal opportunity!) At the MGLPC fundraiser in July (from InNewsWeekly):

In his brief remarks, DiMasi spoke about growing support in the Legislature to kill the anti-gay marriage amendment, still pending before the Constitutional Convention now scheduled for Nov. 9. "You can't imagine how many more people want to be on your side but are afraid because of the political ramifications," he said. "It's a matter of convincing them of what I consider to be the right thing to do. "The House speaker also spoke personally of his Italian immigrant heritage and his legal training, all of which easily brought him along the yellow brick road of gay equality. DiMasi said his grandfather taught him that "everyone in America has equal opportunity." He added, "That's what everybody deserves."

Here is the complete list of State House candidates publicly endorsed MGLPC. (Keep in mind that others not listed receive help from the GLBT activist groups and funds behind the scenes.) From Bay Windows:

Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus endorsements

Deval Patrick for governor. Deb Goldberg for lieutenant governor. Senate incumbents Edward Augustus (2nd Worcester), Harriette Chandler (1st Worcester), Susan Fargo (3rd Middlesex), Robert Havern (4th Middlesex), Brian Joyce (Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth), Mark Montigny (2nd Bristol and Plymouth), Robert O’Leary (Cape and Islands), Stanley Rosenberg (Hampshire and Franklin), James Timilty (Bristol and Norfolk), Marian Walsh (Suffolk and Norfolk), and Dianne Wilkerson (Second Suffolk). House incumbents Demetrius Atsalis (2nd Barnstable), Deborah Blumer (6th Middlesex), Antonio Cabral (13th Bristol), Steve Canessa (12th Bristol), House Speaker Sal DiMasi (3rd Suffolk), James Eldridge (37th Middlesex), Mark Falzone (9th Essex), Jennifer Flanagan (4th Worcester), Ann Gobi (5th Worcester), Thomas Golden (16th Middlesex), Mary Grant (6th Essex), Denis Guyer (2nd Berkshire), Louis Kafka (8th Norfolk), Rachel Kaprielian (29th Middlesex), Jay Kaufman (15th Middlesex), Peter Kocot (1st Hampshire), Peter Koutoujian (10th Middlesex), James Leary (14th Worcester), Barbara L’Italien (18th Essex), David Linsky (5th Middlesex), Michael Moran (18th Suffolk), Tom O’Brien (12th Plymouth), William “Smitty” Pignatelli (4th Berkshire), Cheryl Coakley-Rivera (10th Hampden), Carl Sciortino (34th Middlesex), Harriett Stanley (2nd Essex), Marie St. Fleur (5th Suffolk), William Straus (10th Bristol), Ben Swan (11th Hampden), Eric Turkington (Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket), Cleon Turner (1st Barnstable), and Alice Wolf (25th Middlesex). Candidates for open seats: Chris Hodgkins, running for the Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin Senate seat, James Driscoll running for the 12th Hampden House seat, Patrick Driscoll running for the 6th Worcester House seat, Rosemary Miller running for the 28th Middlesex House seat, Claire Naughton running for the 1st Bristol House seat, Sarah Peake running for the 4th Barnstable House seat, Rosemary Sandlin running for the 3rd Hampden House seat, and Steven D’Amico running for the 4th Bristol House seat.

The Caucus voted to withhold an endorsement in the 6th Suffolk House race for the seat held by retiring Rep. Shirley Owens-Hicks, in which two candidates, Willie Mae Allen and William Celester, Sr. both returned perfect questionnaires. The Caucus endorsed Melissa Murgo in her challenge to Rep. John Fresolo for his 16th Worcester House seat. The Caucus declined to issue an endorsement in the 12th Essex House race between Rep. Joyce Spiliotis, whose questionnaire indicated strong opposition to same-sex marriage, and challenger Sean Fitzgerald, who declined to return a questionnaire. The Caucus also declined to endorse in the 5th Essex race between Rep. Tony Verga, who did not turn in a questionnaire, and Max Schenk, who is running a sticker campaign. At the federal level the Caucus endorsed the reelection campaigns of Sen. Edward Kennedy and Congressmen John Tierney, Stephen Lynch, and William Delahunt.