Richard Tisei Has No Fear Of GOP ‘Knuckleheads’

TiseiThe national Republican Party has a well-deserved reputation for being homophobic, and Richard Tisei, an openly gay GOP Congressional candidate from Massachusetts, understands he'll have to deal with some resistance should he win his election and move to Washington next year. But Tisei says he's fully prepared for anti-gay "knuckleheads".

"I feel totally comfortable," Tisei said of his encounters with Republican big-wigs.

He went on, telling The Hill, "I’m sure that there are a few knuckleheads that will, you know, look at me based on my sexuality as opposed to what I bring to the table. But I’ve got to say, every single person I’ve met so far has made me feel really comfortable.”

Tisei also told reporter Russell Berman that GOP leadership like House Speaker John Boehner are "supportive of me because they believe that the party needs to be more diverse" both in terms of gay inclusion and, he believes, his geographic origins: "There aren’t very many Northeast Republicans nowadays, and most people recognize that in order to have a truly national party, you have to have members coming from all over the country."

Boehner's office says that while the speaker and Tisei "don't agree on every issue," including DOMA, which Boehner has spent hundreds of thousands of tax-payer dollars defending and Tisei says is "unconstitutional", "Richard and the Speaker respect one another". Boehner also campaigned for Tisei earlier this month, which could read as either a sign of respect or as an insurance policy for his own speaker seat.


  1. says

    actually, Tisei, you and Boner don’t “respect one another” – he disrespects you, isnt’ in any way intimidated by you, and you lick the dos**t from his boots.

    if you don’t want to come across as a testicle-deprived kapo quisling, you might want to change your tone and pathetic evasions of direct honesty: the reason there are fewer north-eastern republicans is that we north-easterners don’t have bigoted family members and communities whose approval we pathetically beg for.

    yes. the party needs to be more diverse. and all you need to do to be welcomed as a gay republican is to come across as utterly powerless. well done!

    ugh. i want to like the idea of Change from Within, but it cannot happen when those “within” do nothing but continue to be intellectually dishonest.

  2. PAUL B. says

    It’s sad to watch a good mind & possibly a good heart…sell out. Assuming Tisei is not a stupid person you have to ask yourself…why would a smart man allow himself to be used by his party…the party that discounts his life & human rights consistently? Oh, I must have my morning coffee…the answer is staring me in the face…can you say MONEY?

  3. Lee says

    Look bitches fact is to change the GOP stance we need more gay and gay friendly republicans, I am a life long democrat but I know that without the bravery of pro black dems like JFK and Johnson we would still be a racist party mostly, the GOP is going through the same process right now and in 30-40 years from now will most likely not fear gay rights anymore.

  4. KP says

    “I’m sure that there are a few knuckleheads that will, you know, look at me based on my sexuality” aka the entire GOP caucus. Tisei should check out HRC’s latest Congressional scorecard where 219 members received a zero score. Tisei’s BFF Boehner also has a zero score and is not only in favor of DOMA, but was against repealing DADT and passing ENDA. All the GOP cares about is that Tisei is from MA. They just want that one seat so they can claim people in MA are getting sick of the Democrats. They couldn’t care less about Tisei and he is in for a rude awakening if he thinks a freshman congressmen can actually change anything, let another a party full of hypocrites.

  5. atomic says

    @Lee: The fact that you felt it necessary to preface your excusatory argument with “Look bitches” speaks volumes about your legitimacy. You resort to personal attacks and derogatory language because your argument can’t stand on its own merits.

    In reality, gay Republicans only feed into the homophobia and anti-gay policies of the GOP platform by proving to those who hold actual power that they can still be openly anti-gay while retaining the support of the Uncle Toms. The flaw in your reasoning is that we ALREADY have a party that supports gay rights. As such, we don’t need the Republicans to come on board. We only need to vote their homophobia out of office. They’ve had plenty of time to adapt, and there is NO reason whatsoever to give them another “30-40 years” to figure out they’re on the wrong side of history. In another 30-40 years, some of us will be dead and still without the legal protections of marriage for our surviving spouses. Change and progress are possible NOW. But as long as there are self-loathing gay men who put their bank accounts above their integrity, the GOP has no reason to stop spouting anti-gay propaganda to court the evangelical vote.

  6. Diogenes Arktos says

    Dear Mr Tisei,

    Your party presently is in the grip of the Religious Right. They proudly wrote an anti-gay platform. As an act of noblesse oblige, they (claim to) allow anyone (including gays) into the party, but vowed to fight to the death to prohibit People Like Us from having any effect on said platform (or party). You can tell what the party really thinks of you if you look at the GOP homepage and try to find LCR or GOPride listed – unlike other groups who have (questionable) GOP support: blacks, hispanics, and women.

    Sincerely yours,
    an ex-Republican

  7. says

    here’s another reality people dont’ want to acknowledge – the GOP needs the “anti-gay platform” because it’s the only thing they can sell to their base, the vast majority of whom IN NO WAY BENEFIT from the GOP’s fiscal policies.

    taxes? healthcare? if you’re not a wealthy person you’re not getting anything good from the GOP. that’s why they say “Don’tcha just hate gays who come into church to give your daughters abortions and give your sons AIDS?” – it’s their only tool for distraction.

    this is true in every country around the world whose politicians play up to anti-gay bigotry: they distract idiots with GAYS! because their fiscal plans will screw said idiots over.

  8. PAUL B. says

    @Kiwi…you’re so right again! I think I’m in love with you…again.
    @Lee…most of us aren’t in the mood to wait a lifetime for “most likely”. How old did you say you were?

  9. Another View says

    JFK and Johnson showed bravery, but Tisei is complete coward. He has hidden is the closet for most of his adult and political life. He came out opportunistically a month before Charlie Baker named him as his running mate. Richard Tisei never showed any courage by lifting a finger in the fight for gay rights. In fact, while others were putting themselves at the forefront of the fight for equality, he voted against gay rights in the MA legislature. He cannot be trusted.

  10. Steve says

    They’ve tried to change it from within for decades and it has only become crazier every year.

    The proper way to deal with the Republican party is to let it become ever more insane and allow it to self-destruct. They aren’t very far from that.

  11. says

    Oh for phuck’s sake !
    Romney said he was more pro gay rights than Ted Kennedy.
    Who is dumb enough to believe the time of day from these pathological liars.

    Let them keep the extreme right; history has almost finished with them.

  12. Jay says

    It is stupid to vote for this Republican just because he is gay. He is running against a Democrat who has a perfect record of gay rights. I am very disappointed in the Victory Fund for supporting this man against a reliable gay ally.

  13. Lee says

    @atomic why should we judge a man based on the policies and actions of others? There are plenty of pro equality GOPers and plenty of anti equality dems if he’s the most qualified for the job and supports gay rights then I have no problem with him fact is we need more of our own people in congress dem or GOP I personally prefer the dems but I also agree with the GOP of some issues, and I even like some GOPers and hate several dems(remeber DADT repeal would not have happened if not for the GOP senators who broke ranks and we would not have marriage in NY if not for the GOP state senator there).

  14. Michael says

    Since when did the definition of respect become making sure people hate you?

    Gay Republicans never cease to amaze.

  15. Michael says

    Since when did the definition of respect become making sure people hate you?

    Gay Republicans never cease to amaze.

  16. PAUL B. says

    So Lee…there are “plenty of pro-equality GOPers”. OK, let’s name names and see what “plenty” looks like. You’re simply too young, naive…both is my guess… to realize that 30-40 years is not a viable option, nor are a handful or GOPers that you qualify as “plenty”. You’ve somehow deluded yourself into thinking that a tiny little scrap of anything the republicans throw our way should make us happy…NOT!

  17. R says

    Andrew… your posts on Tisei are positively gloating, without any criticism over Tisei’s batshit crazy policies or mention of the fact that his opponent — the incumbent Democrat — has been a strong supporter and ally of LGBT democrats for a long time now.

    If I went back the past month, I’m almost certain you’ve posted more articles on Tisei than, say, Tammy Baldwin or other LGBT democrats running for federal office.

    Seriously, this Log Cabin stuff is getting old.

  18. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Little Kiwi: I have a more depressing view than you do about rank-and-file Republicans. I don’t think they need “gays” to distract them from the reality of Republican fiscal policies – they are just blind. As my note above to Mr Tisei says, I grew up Republican.


    Even when I was a Republican, I did not vote a straight ticket. I have, regretfully, changed because of the issue of who controls the legislatures – it’s strictly on party lines. While loonies are everywhere, this election I’m in the mindset that if at all possible one should vote Democratic.

  19. BrokebackBob says

    This issue is much simpler than anyone would think initially. This candidate is gay -and- a RepubliThug(tm). In a world where there exist moderate Republicans who don’t want to tell women -and- men to do with their bodies, which does NOT now exist anymore thanks to the fascist Tea Party (yep the neo-cons are back again and much much worse and much much more ignorant), this canididate -might- have a chance but today, no. This candicate represents the dodo bird just prior to extinction.