Charlie Baker might have an opponent with extreme views on LGBTQ+ rights but that doesn’t make him more appealing to the LGBTQ+ community or to Democrats who support equality. Baker must be confused because he’s claiming support for the community and then campaigning for candidates with disturbing records on LGBTQ+ rights.
Close Baker ally and GOP candidate for Treasurer State Rep. Keiko Orrall voted against Transgender rights when it was before the legislature in 2016 but now as a candidate for statewide office, she is “undecided” about how she will vote on the ballot question in 2018. Democrats like our current Treasurer Deb Goldberg aren’t “undecided” on how they will vote in November. They will continue to fight for Transgender rights and against the discriminatory practices that face the Transgender community.
Let’s not forget about our current Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, a key leader in the attempt to ban marriage equality after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled a ban unconstitutional. What is equally reprehensible was Polito’s support for Mitt Romney in his quest to disband the LGBT Youth Commission while Romney was governor of Massachusetts. The Democratic candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor would be a far better choice than Baker and Polito as they will all work towards equality for the LGBTQ+ community.
Candidates like Jacob Ventura, who would have voted for a ban on marriage equality, and Senator Dean Tran, who referred to the Transgender Anti-Discrimination law as an “identity crisis law,” have both received support from Charlie Baker. Baker’s anti-Transgender activism for Republicans isn’t just here in Massachusetts. Baker has raised 2.2 million dollars for candidates like Donald Trump and Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore, an accused child-molester.
Instead of openly supporting the LGBTQ+ community Baker has literally hidden in his office. Instead of holding a public signing ceremony for the Transgender Rights bill, Baker did it behind closed doors without a camera in sight. As top Democrats held a rally to celebrate the signing, Attorney General Maura Healey recognized the historical impact of the new law saying, “With the signing of this bill into law, transgender people will now have the same rights as everyone else, no matter where they go in Massachusetts.” Charlie Baker was in his office, hiding from any controversy, not “making waves.”
Charlie Baker shows phony leadership when it comes to LGBTQ equality and instead of deserving a second term in the Corner Office he should be shown the door. Democrats have been the real leaders on LGBTQ+ rights. Instead of Charlie Baker, we need a Democratic Governor who will stand up to Donald Trump and Mike Pence, not one who will scurry off to fundraisers for opponents of LGBTQ+ rights while feigning innocence. It’s time for real leadership, not more sleight of hand trickery and deliberate deception.
Jeremy Comeau, Bay State Stonewall Democrats Co-Chair