Massachusetts | News | Republican Party | Richard Tisei

Massachusetts GOP Picks Pro-Gay, Anti-Trans Gubernatorial Candidate with Openly Gay Running Mate


The Massachusetts GOP picked Charles Baker as their gubernatorial candidate on Saturday, defeating convenience store magnate Christy Mihos in the primary. Baker is for marriage equality and has an openly gay running mate — state senator Richard Tisei. 

Baker One point of contention between the GOP's team is Tisei's sponsorship of a transgender anti-discrimination bill, which Baker addressed after getting the endorsement:

"At an awkward press conference after Baker won the convention’s endorsement, he stood next to Tisei and said he opposed his running mate’s legislation and was not concerned about labeling it 'the bathroom bill' — a term used by opponents of gay rights. Baker, who supports gay marriage and abortion rights, denied that he was trying to court social conservatives. 'I think a guy who supports gay marriage and is pro-choice and has been pretty clear on those and picked a gay fella as his running mate is pretty much not pandering to much of anybody,' Baker said, putting a hand on Tisei’s shoulder. Tisei has, in the past, strongly rejected the phrase “bathroom bill,’’ saying critics use it to misrepresent the goal of equal rights for transgender people. 'I think they’re trying to scare people into opposing the bill and I don’t think it’s really an issue,' he told his local paper last summer. 'I know it’s been dubbed the ‘bathroom bill,’ but this is really a bill to treat people equally and fairly under the law.'"

You may recall that Tisei came out publicly in November after anticipating the scrutiny that would come as Baker's running mate.

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  1. Being pro-gay and anti-trans means you're really just anti-equality except for people you happen to like, and that makes you a bigot.

    No votes for bigots, no matter who they are.

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 19, 2010 8:38:15 AM

  2. There is nothing more self-serving or selfish than a gay Republican.

    Basically they are saying --- accept me so I can use the rigged system like you, and I could care less about the other progressive issues.


    Posted by: Walter | Apr 19, 2010 9:12:49 AM

  3. @JT How very LCR of you (or is it that other allegedly gay republikkaner group)?

    Posted by: jamal49 | Apr 19, 2010 11:50:13 AM

  4. Women don't want men in their bathrooms, period. It's perceived as a safety issue. They don't want men dressing up like women just so they can go into the bathroom to see semi-exposed women (though they only really have stalls). In this area, women are not thinking about the rights of the transgendered. They are thinking about their own safety and privacy. It's a political loser for T-rights. It also does not matter that the transgendered would not hurt a fly or feel much better about themselves if they use the women's room. Rather, they worry about fake transgendered men using the law to leer and prowl on women. Got it?

    Posted by: anon | Apr 19, 2010 1:09:21 PM

  5. It is not just the bathroom bill.
    H1728 has no religious exemptions.

    1)Section 20 will force Churches and Knights of Columbus to rent their halls out to homosexual couples and transsexual couples for wedding banquets.
    (Remember what happened to Catholic Charities with adoptions?)

    2)Section 26 It will criminalize preachers for reading from scripture against homosexuality and perversion. Priests could be arrested fined $2,5oo and imprisoned up to one year.
    This is already happening in Canada.

    3)Section 17-18 A person who owns a three family home must rent to a same-sex couple or a transexual with no reguard for the owners children's well being or religious belief.

    4) Section 9 A person must testify in front of the "Commission for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth" about an accused Hate Crime even if it incriminates oneself (The person cannot involk the 5th amendment) Already a law in Massachusetts.

    Richard Tesie is a sponcer of this bill along with over 100 Massachusetts Senators and Reps.

    Posted by: Paulz | Apr 19, 2010 4:01:39 PM

  6. "2)Section 26 It will criminalize preachers for reading from scripture against homosexuality and perversion. Priests could be arrested fined $2,5oo and imprisoned up to one year.
    This is already happening in Canada."

    No, it isn't.

    Posted by: Zach | Apr 19, 2010 7:18:20 PM

  7. Hate Crime in Canada is coming to Massachusetts H1728 (Bathroom Bill)

    The EdgeCanada Orders Pastor to Renounce His Faith
    June 9th, 2008 by Pete Vere, JCL Print This Article ·ShareThis

    In a decision that foreshadows the possible fate of Fr. Alphonse de Valk, Canada’s leading pro-life voice among Catholic clergy, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal has forbidden evangelical pastor Stephen Boisson from expressing his moral opposition to homosexuality. The tribunal also ordered Boisson to pay $5,000 “damages for pain and suffering” and apologize to the “human rights” activist who filed the complaint.

    The complaint stems from Canada’s debate leading up to state legislation recognizing so-called same-sex marriage. In 2002, the pastor wrote a letter to the editor of his local newspaper in which he denounced the homosexual agenda as “wicked” and stated that: “Children as young as five and six years of age are being subjected to psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system; all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights.”

    The activist subsequently filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission — a quasi-judicial body that investigates alleged discrimination within the Canadian province. The government tribunal published its decision [] on May 30.

    While agreeing that Boisson’s letter was not a criminal act, the government tribunal nevertheless ordered the Christian pastor to “cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals.” Moreover, the tribunal’s decision “prohibited [Boisson] from making disparaging remarks in the future” about the activist who filed the complaint and witnesses who supported the complaint. Many of Canada’s religious leaders and civil libertarians have expressed concern that the government’s human rights tribunals are interpreting any criticism of homosexual activism as ‘disparaging’.

    The tribunal also ordered Boisson to provide the complainant with a written apology for his letter to the editor. This last requirement threatens civil liberties in Canada, said Ezra Levant, a Jewish-Canadian author and lawyer. Levant, himself the target of an Alberta Human Rights Commission investigation, is facing the possibility the state may order him to apologize as well.

    “Ed Stelmach’s ‘conservative’ government now believes that if it can’t convince a Christian pastor that he’s wrong, it will just order him to condemn himself?” Levant wrote on his blog. “Other than tribunals in Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China, where is this Orwellian ‘order’ considered to be justice?”

    “This is like a Third World jail-house confession — where accused criminals are forced to sign false statements of guilt,” Levant wrote. “We don’t even ‘order’ murderers to apologize to their victims’ families. Because we know that a forced apology is meaningless. But not if your point is to degrade Christian pastors.”

    In essence, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal is ordering to the minister to renounce his Christian faith, since his opposition to homosexuality is based upon the Judeo-Christian Bible. The case against Pastor Boisson has been watched closely by practicing Catholics in the country, especially as news spreads about the current Canadian Human Rights Commission investigation into Fr. de Valk reported on in this space last Wednesday. The Basilian priest and publisher of Catholic Insight magazine stands accused of promoting “extreme hatred and contempt” against homosexuals for having publicly defended the Church’s traditional definition of marriage. Some of the allegedly hateful statements are quotations from the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Fr. de Valk told Catholic Exchange.

    Although Catholic moral teaching is generally more nuanced in its criticism of homosexuality, evangelicals and fundamentalist Protestants often appear to be used as test cases for the government commissions before targeting Catholics. Thus many Catholics fear the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will attempt to use the Boisson case to muzzle Fr. de Valk from expressing the Church’s traditional moral teaching, delivering a further blow to religious liberty and freedom of conscience in Canada.

    © Copyright 2010 Catholic Exchange

    Posted by: Paulz | Apr 20, 2010 1:37:10 AM

  8. The gay angle to this story is a non-issue here in MA. I'm not saying folks here are superior regarding gay rights, but for whatever reason there's just in general far less endemic or systematic homophobia here and most folks are laid back regarding sexuality issues. Partly this has to do with the very minimal uber conservative religious influence here I think. Ironic considering MA was founded by extreme religious fanatics (puritans) who executed people for being witches.

    Constitutionally the Lt. guv has basically no duties beyond tie-breaker in the senate and whatever functions the guv gives him/her. In my lifetime several guvs never filled the position when it was vacated.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Apr 20, 2010 3:12:49 AM

  9. My household was called to be surveyed on the transgender anti-discrimination bill. The way the questions were phrased implies stronger support from respondents then might really exist. There was no room in the replies for mild support or uncertainty on the bill and the politicians that vote for it. That's not realistic. I think most Massachusetts residents don't want folks to be discriminated , so of course their replies will imply support for the bill. But still that doesn't mean they are comfortable with transgendered people.

    Posted by: Andrew- Boston | Apr 20, 2010 7:56:05 AM

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