Bullying | Massachusetts | News | Republican Party | Scott Brown

Senator Scott Brown Blasted for Absence from 'It Gets Better' Video; GOP Responds by Attacking Dan Savage

Last night I posted the "It Gets Better" video created by the Massachusetts congressional delegation. All members of the Senate and House of Representatives from the state participated except for Senator Scott Brown.

Brown Today, Brown was blasted by state LGBT groups on a conference call with press, Think Progress reports:

The LGBT leaders, including two Massachusetts lawmakers, agreed that Sen. Brown’s refusal to participate in the video sends a disturbing message to the staggering number of LGBT youth who are being bullied and harassed every day. They also said the snub was simply the latest in Brown’s long record of “being anti-LGBT friendly,” in the words of Jennifer Chrisler.


Grace Stonewall, the executive director of BAGLEY (Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Youth), said (she) showed the Massachusetts delegation video to young people in (her) support organization. “They were all aware Scott Brown had not participated and had the same reaction that we’re having, that he didn’t support [them].”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee went on counter-attack, with a statement to Politico attacking the "It Gets Better" project founder Dan Savage.

If, as the old saying goes, you’re known by the company you keep, than the voters of Massachusetts deserve to know who Democrat Party operatives are teaming up with to spread outrageous attacks on Scott Brown’s character.

It’s truly reached a new level of desperation in their efforts to tear down Scott Brown, but we look forward to hearing whether state and national Democrat leaders agree with Dan Savage’s long history of lewd, violent and anti-Christian rhetoric. Given their press conference call today, one has to presume at this point that they do.

Savage Savage responded to the attacks in an email to Politico.

I am not the IGB project. The project has had the reach and impact that it's had thanks to tens of thousands of people from all over the world who've participated. [A]nd no one who participates is required to crawl into bed with me. ..:

It is interesting, though, that not a single GOP elected official can bring himself or herself to make a video, or participate in the creation of one.

Read Savage's entire email at Politico.

I've reposted the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I am amazed that Dan Savage has managed to turn even something as well-meaning as this project into something ugly.

    Since when did making a video for this thing become mandatory? Since when is this the litmus test for determining whether or not one cares about one's fellow human beings?

    I am in no way defending the disgusting Scott Brown. I'm just asking why we've elevated a bunch of videos spearheaded by an idiotic, racist, genocide-loving attention whore to this level. Videos the sole goal of which is to tell LGBT teens to simply wait out any hell they're going through with the promise that it will get better, regardless of the fact that it very often does not.

    And yet again Dan Savage assures his employment by increasing his notoriety at our expense and this time by exploiting LGBT youth.

    Posted by: ohplease | Jul 28, 2011 6:22:49 PM

  2. Why are the "It Gets Better" videos being used as a tool to beat down political opponents? The entire IDEA of "It Gets Better" is centered on the voluntary, reaching out to somebody else from genuine empathy, from your heart.

    We should NOT be penalizing or trashing politicians who do not join in (like Social Christians do by forcing others to sign a "Marriage Pledge").

    The idea of "It Gets Better" is cheapened and demeaned once we use it as a political football.

    Posted by: will | Jul 28, 2011 6:22:58 PM

  3. I think Savage has a point about the Republicans being notable for their complete absence from the It Gets Better campaign. It's as if the Republican Party has become a party based on opposition to homosexuality. It's become hostage to the Religious Right.

    Posted by: jason | Jul 28, 2011 6:23:51 PM

  4. wait, GOProud told us R's love us

    Posted by: say what | Jul 28, 2011 6:33:58 PM

  5. Why would any Republican participate in the project organized by an anti-Republican bigot who wishes all Republicans dead?

    Posted by: AG | Jul 28, 2011 6:36:03 PM

  6. Brown's absence is not as surprising as it is disappointing; esp when you consider he now sits in the seat previously held by Sen. Kennedy - maybe the best advocate the GLBT community has ever had in the US Senate.

    Sen. Brown has yet to meet with any GLBT media since taking office. I didn't vote for him in the special election and for a variety of reasons will not be voting for him in his upcoming election either.

    Boston, MA

    Posted by: BosGuy | Jul 28, 2011 6:44:10 PM

  7. hmm, there were those of us who warned that Savage would become a target of the repuglicans, and his lurid activities would backfire on the gay community.

    Posted by: prophet | Jul 28, 2011 6:49:27 PM

  8. Dan Savage really believes he, and his It Gets Better Crap is really more important than it is.

    Posted by: Marty | Jul 28, 2011 6:51:18 PM

  9. Dan Savage must feel overjoyed at being drawn into a meaningless controversy like this. Everyone involved in it is a glutton for media attention. Let them snipe back and forth until the cows come home . . . Just like most other Americans, I'm too busy looking for a job to pay attention. I ain't got time for the foolishness!

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Jul 28, 2011 6:58:25 PM

  10. @AG: Maybe they should participate because they care more about the lives of LGBT youth than about Dan Savage? Just a thought.

    It's amazing how Dan Savage has become the best comment-bait that a blog could ever hope for. So much vitriol, so many page views. If I was Dan, I would be proud. If no one talks about you, you probably aren't doing anything of note.

    PROPHET is my number one favorite worry-wart. Oh how he worries that people who hate gay people might continue not to like us if we aren't polite enough to them. He worries and worries. We really should all just sit with our hands folded and hope for the best, shouldn't we? That always gets things done.

    Posted by: RyanInSacto | Jul 28, 2011 7:10:35 PM

  11. If he's pissing off republicans then he's doing something right.

    Posted by: sleepy bear | Jul 28, 2011 7:15:41 PM

  12. Please phone home Senator - "It gets better" message isn't controversial here. If the Red Sox can do it why can't you, Mr Brown?

    Posted by: Tom | Jul 28, 2011 7:16:48 PM

  13. Dan Savage deserves to be attacked. His longheld stances [read his column, people] make things worse for us, not better. Having him become our go-to representative is one of the biggest mistakes our movement has made to date.

    Posted by: Kanga | Jul 28, 2011 7:19:46 PM

  14. Wow, what's all this bitterness towards Dan Savage ? He's been a great advocate and supporter of gay issues.....you may not like his colourful imagery but get over it.
    And the question why Republicans have not supported the IGB project is a perfectly legitimate question.
    Why is Scott Brown the only one ??

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jul 28, 2011 7:19:50 PM

  15. @OH PLEASE -- Dan Savage was pulled into this argument by Republicans. He wasn't the one who raised the absence of Scott Brown as a talking point, and at this point I don't think it's worth the energy of LGBT groups to get their panties in a bunch if one person out of the lot chose not to participate. IGB doesn't have anything to do with laws, it has to do with kids, and if this was 10-15 years ago, I really think teenage me wouldn't really care about Mass. Congressional Delegation's video, or the videos of sports teams, or businesses or random celebrities. I'd wager the one-on-one videos from REAL people are having the most impact.

    We shouldn't be attacking people just because they don't agree with us. The people that need calling out are the ones who are actively trying to deny us rights or take them away.

    Some of those pro-gay rights Christians out there do believe we will go to hell when we die, but they understand that their beliefs should have no bearing on our lives. Some people choose not to participate rather than condone something they don't agree with. As long as they're not trying to stop us from being free, let them have that.

    Posted by: antisaint | Jul 28, 2011 7:29:57 PM

  16. The polical footballs are still sayin gay is wrong..thats why..

    Posted by: alan brickman | Jul 28, 2011 7:30:01 PM

  17. Let's go to Nancy Reagan's house next and ask her to do an "It Gets Better" video. If she refuses, we'll throw a huge amount of glitter at her because we gays are vengeful people at heart if you speak against us (or abstain).

    How did we become Joseph McCarthy? This website we're on loves to pillory any public person who says "That's so gay" -- even when it's said in a completely non-homophobic innocuous fashion.

    We need to step back, look at what's really important to us in our activism and stop bullying people out of revenge. It's ugly.

    Posted by: will | Jul 28, 2011 7:32:32 PM

  18. Really people? You're attacking Dan Savage? Dan Savage's project blew up into something much larger than he is. He just planted the seed. He doesn't hate bisexuals, lesbians, black people, etc...he's not the enemy or the boogeyman. Hateful, spiteful, jealous queens all y'all.

    Posted by: palisc | Jul 28, 2011 7:38:05 PM

  19. the boston area LGBT groups are the ones questioning brown's absence not dan savage. yet in typical right wing fashion they haul out the victim card like they always do. if the igb project makes one teen stop from committing suicide it was worth it. too bad the repuks like bullying so much. look how the tea party is acting.

    Posted by: walter | Jul 28, 2011 7:55:50 PM

  20. If you think the IGB project is pointless, take a look at yesterday's poll on the wingnutdaily and the comments there. They're appalled the government is giving $1.5 million to GLSEN for safe spaces in schools. They'd rather encourage gay kids to kill themselves. They do not get the connection between their own virulent homophobia and the high suicide rate in places like Anoka-Hennepin. It's disgusting, and there are a lot of them.

    They and anyone who is opposed to IGB and to safe spaces are the problem. Not Dan.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Jul 28, 2011 8:34:03 PM

  21. @ OhPlease,

    As usual, you prove that you can't read the post itself before you comment. Here's the info from the Andy's post:

    "Today, Brown was blasted by state LGBT groups on a conference call with press"

    And here's your idiotic comment:

    "I am amazed that Dan Savage has managed to turn even something as well-meaning as this project into something ugly. Since when did making a video for this thing become mandatory?"

    Yes, OhPlease, we understand that you resent the good that Dan Savage has done, but if you can read, you'll realize that LGBT groups in Massachusetts, not Dan Savage, were criticizing Scott Brown.

    OhPlease, why do you insist on making a jackass of yourself over and over again? State LGBT groups in Massachusetts have freedom of speech like anyone else, and Dan Savage does not exercise mind control over them. Think before you post a comment.

    Posted by: Artie Rimbaud | Jul 28, 2011 8:39:07 PM

  22. Hmmm.... methinks the RNC might have sent a few contributors to this thread...

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 28, 2011 8:49:34 PM

  23. @ Marty,

    Regarding your comment: "Dan Savage really believes he, and his It Gets Better Crap is really more important than it is."

    Crap is it? These videos have been saving kids' lives and you know it. You're peddling poison. Looking for an appreciative audience that will laugh along with you while gay kids kill themselves? How about Free Republic?

    Posted by: Artie Rimbaud | Jul 28, 2011 8:53:22 PM

  24. Dan Savage isn't the enemy. Anyone who rails against him while giving Republicans a pass has skewed priorities.

    It's not surprising that Scott Brown and his Republican colleagues aren't participating in the It Gets Better project, never mind that everyone else, from sports teams to major corporations is--it would be disadvantageous for right-wingers politically, and there's no reason to believe they care about gay bullying since they typically oppose any measures to address it.

    But, it should also be noted, they could participate in another anti-bullying project if they don't want to associate themselves with Dan's, and they haven't. So this really isn't about Dan Savage. It's about their refusal (with a few notable exceptions, like the NY Repub's who voted for marriage equality) to be involved with anything gay unless it's in opposition to our rights and humanity.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 28, 2011 8:59:00 PM

  25. @ Ernie,

    Thank you for mentioning the obvious fact that Republicans have many other options to help prevent suicide among gay kids if they think that Dan Savage is too vulgar or tasteless. And they ignore all of those opportunities. I think we can connect the dots, no?

    Posted by: Artie Rimbaud | Jul 28, 2011 9:08:37 PM

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