The Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, minus one member, has a message for LGBT teens: It Gets Better!
The person missing from the above video is Republican Senator Scott Brown, and his absence is causing quite a stir.
Indeed, Brown’s been getting a lot of heat over skipping the video, with spokesperson Colin Reed feeling the need to make the following, rather abstract, statement to The Boston Globe: ”Scott Brown has a strong record at the state and federal level against bullying and believes that all people regardless of sexual orientation should be treated with dignity and respect. His main focus right now is on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track.”
Scott Brown is a notable moderate among his party, at least on social issues, and in fact he was one of only a handful of Republican legislators who supported the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Brown doesn’t support marriage equality but on every other issue seems at least prepared to consider equality legislation.
Brown has of course faced a challenging climate of late, with certain members of the Republican party that worked to get him elected voicing their consternation at his more centrist views and vowing to defeat him come re-election. Given that no currently seated Republican has yet recorded an “It Gets Better” video, one can perhaps see how, for Brown at least, this step away from party ranks may not have looked attractive.
The Scott Brown tempest in a teacup isn’t really worth much comment more than he didn’t choose to participate — draw conclusions as you want.
The greater story here, however, is that while the Massachusetts Delegation has been busy recording this video (and a fine message it is) Massachusetts state legislators are still dithering on whether to extend basic nondiscrimination protections to cover gender identity and gender expression. The Transgender Equal Rights Act would place gender identity and expression alongside other protected classes like sexual orientation, sex and race, and ban discrimination in areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit. You will forgive me for shoehorning this mention in, but while the GOP and the Democrats continue to squabble about Scott Brown’s lack of a cameo, I’d prefer we focus on something important. Read more about that Transgender Equality Act here.