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Gay congressional candidate marries in Mass.

Sciortino says lack of controversy shows LGBT progress

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Pem Brown, Carl Sciortino Jr., gay news, Washington Blade, Massachusetts
Pem Brown, Carl Sciortino Jr., gay news, Washington Blade, Massachusetts

Francis Pemberton “Pem” Brown and Mass. House Rep. Carl Sciortino, Jr. (D-Middlesex) wed Saturday. (Photo by Glen Livermore Photography).

A gay Massachusetts politician vying to win an upcoming special congressional election married his partner of more than five years on Saturday in a ceremony he says reflects the progress of the LGBT rights movement.

State Rep. Carl Sciortino, who’s seeking to represent Massachusetts’ 5th congressional district in the U.S. House, wed his partner of more than five years, Pem Brown, a consultant for non-profit communications, in Boston at the Old South Meeting House.

Sciortino, 35, told the Blade that he thinks the lack of controversy over his wedding to Brown, 29, demonstrates the amount of progress made in LGBT rights over the last 10 years, and especially after the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

“I think the fact that I can get married as a congressional candidate in a middle of the election, and it’s not a big deal, not a controversy, is a sign of how far we’ve come in the last 10 years,” Sciortino said. “When I first ran for office in 2004 at the height of the marriage debate here, it was inconceivable then that I could 10 years later be getting married, and have it be recognized not only by the State of Massachusetts, but the federal government.”

Sciortino, who has touted his progressive values in running for Congress, is credited as a state lawmaker with helping beat back a state constitutional amendment that would have rescinded marriage rights for gay couples in Massachusetts.

The location of the wedding is significant for the LGBT rights movement because it’s where the LGBT community gathered in 2003 to celebrate the night of the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that brought marriage equality to the first jurisdiction in the country.

According to the Sciortino campaign, 175 people attended the ceremony. Among them was Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, who officiated.

Solomon, who worked with Sciortino as head of MassEquality when same-sex marriage was made legal in Massachusetts, said the wedding is a reminder that “the political is the personal.”

“Carl had been in that building just about 10 years ago on the day of that decision,” Solomon said. “It was really cool, exciting and moving to be back there for the ceremony. It’s a place where lots of social movements and resistance movements had taken off, from the Boston Tea Party onwards.”

Sciortino’s campaign gained more recognition at the national level last month when it started running a web ad of Sciortino “coming out” as a progressive to his Tea Party father. Just recently, Sciortino was endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America.

The primary in the heavily Democratic district is set for Oct. 15. According to an Emerson College poll published late last month, Sciortino is at the bottom of the pack in a crowded field.

The poll found State Sen. Katherine Clark in the lead at 24 percent, followed by Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian at 19 percent, State Sen. Karen Spilka at 15.5 percent, State Sen. William Brownsberger at 11 percent and Sciortino at 5 percent.

Among those who had seen his ad, the situation is different. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee published a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling on Sept. 26 that showed,  among voters who have seen his ad, Sciortino leading in the race at 29 percent.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. dick Chase

    October 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    SIMPLY AWESOME1

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Politics

Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire host says 2 men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies

” […] because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.”

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Screenshot of Matt Walsh via YouTube (Blade file photo)

NASHVILLE – Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire podcast and YouTuber Matt Walsh joined the growing chorus of far-right and conservative voices outraged that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg went on paternity leave from his job in August after he and his husband Chasten had adopted two children.

On his show Monday Walsh not only criticized Buttigieg, but he attacked same-sex couples adopting children altogether.

It’s absurd for any public employee, paid on taxpayer dime, to be given that much time off. Now, you can make an argument for women on maternity leave but not for men. Paternity leave is a nice luxury for private companies that can afford it. The U.S. government is not a private company – it’s a public institution, deeply in debt, failing in just about every way and everywhere. So this is not a time and not the place for those kinds of luxuries. But that’s the somewhat safer point to make, right? You are in a much more hazardous place, you are in more hazardous waters when you go away from that and, instead, you start saying mildly critical things about paternity leave in general as a concept.”

I also didn’t say that there’s nothing at all for a man to do for his family after a child is born. I said that as far as caring for the newborn himself, most of that is going to be done by the mother. She, in most cases, will be feeding the child. The child also needs and wants his mother’s presence, his mother’s touch, her voice. The father should be interacting with the baby also, obviously, but the infant is far more focused on his mother at that age. And needs his mother more. There is no mother in the Buttigieg household, but that doesn’t change the point here.”

Babies need their mothers, which is why two men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies in the first place. And the outrage mob can now start a secondary campaign over that comment. But I’ll say it again. Two men should not be allowed to adopt babies because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.

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Politics

Pete Buttigieg calls out Tucker Carlson over attack

Fox News host mocked transportation secretary over paternity leave

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Washington Blade file photo)

Appearing remotely on MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace’s politics program Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson for the attack on his parental leave.

“This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, ” Buttigieg said.

During his Thursday evening program Carlson said, “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child—paternity leave, they call it—trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went. But now he’s back in office as the transportation secretary and he’s deeply amused, he says, to see that dozens of container ships can’t get into this country.”

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National

Biden recognizes National Coming Out Day as time to honor LGBTQ people

White House statement denounces ‘bullying and harassment’

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President Biden recognized Oct. 11 as National Coming Out Day in a statement on Monday calling the occasion a time to celebrate the “courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self.”

Biden ticked off in the statement the achievements on LGBTQ policy, including signing an executive order on his first day in his office ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year against anti-LGBTQ discrimination to the furthest extent possible.

“Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures,” Biden said. “Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

Read Biden’s full statement below:

Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on National Coming Out Day

Today, we celebrate National Coming Out Day and the courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self. Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are – regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.

My Administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation. I am proud to lead an Administration with LGBTQ+ officials serving openly at the highest levels of government — and prouder that together we have made historic progress advancing protections and equal opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. From acting on Day One to prevent and combat discrimination, to enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, to defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world, my Administration has been clear that we will continue to champion the dignity, equality, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.

To LGBTQ+ people across the country, and especially those who are contemplating coming out: know that you are loved for who you are, you are admired for your courage, and you will have a community — and a nation — to welcome you. My Administration will always have your back, and we will continue fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect you deserve.

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