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04/19/2007


Massachusetts Lawmaker Announces He is HIV-Positive, Resigns to Run AIDS Charity

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Out gay Massachusetts State Representative Carl Sciortino (above, right), who made headlines last November in an ad in which he came out to his Tea Party father as a Massachusetts liberal one month after marrying his partner Pem Brown, announced he's resigning from his office in the state's 34th Middlesex District. 

Sciortino said he's HIV-positive, and plans to lead Massachusetts' AIDS Action Committee:

“As a gay man living with HIV, I am honored to lead one of the country’s oldest and most effective organizations in the battle against this disease which has raged on over 30 years,” said Sciortino. “My goal for AIDS Action in the years ahead is simple: continue the work that has resulted in lowering the rate of new HIV diagnoses in Massachusetts; provide the multitude of services needed to keep those living with HIV/AIDS connected with health care providers; and continue the public conversation about HIV needed to reduce the stigma that is still so closely associated with this disease.”


Gay Congressional Candidate Carl Sciortino Marries Partner

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Massachusetts State Representative Carl Sciortino (above right), 35, married his partner of over five years, Pem Brown, 29, on Saturday at the Old South Meeting House in Boston. The wedding comes in the finals days of Sciortino's primary bid for Massachusetts's 5th congressional seat. Sciortino spoke to The Washington Blade about how much things have changed for gay couples since he first took office, especially following the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in United States v. Windsor:

"I think the fact that I can get married as a congressional candidate in a middle of the election, and it’s not a big deal, not a controversy, is a sign of how far we’ve come in the last 10 years,” Sciortino said. "When I first ran for office in 2004 at the height of the marriage debate here, it was inconceivable then that I could 10 years later be getting married, and have it be recognized not only by the State of Massachusetts, but the federal government."

The location of the wedding, at Boston's Old South Meeting House, was also significant for Sciortino and Brown as it was the place where the LGBT community came to celebrate the 2003 state supreme court ruling that cleared the way for marriage equality in Massachusetts. Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, officiated the wedding and spoke of the symmetry of Carl's wedding and that red letter day almost a decade ago:

"Carl had been in that building just about 10 years ago on the day of that decision," Solomon said. "It was really cool, exciting and moving to be back there for the ceremony. It’s a place where lots of social movements and resistance movements had taken off, from the Boston Tea Party onwards."

Last month, Sciortino released a web ad where he came out to his Tea Party Republican father...as a proud Massachusetts liberal. Though he faces an uphill battle in the upcoming October 15 primary, according to The Washington Blade, the ad has had tremendous impact. One poll from The Progressive Change Campaign Committee shows Sciortino up by 29% among those who had seen the ad.

In case you missed it, you can check the ad out HERE.

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(Photos by Glenn Livermore Photography)


Gay Congressional Candidate 'Came Out' to Tea Party Father...as a 'Proud Massachusetts Liberal' — VIDEO

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Carl Sciortino Jr. recalls coming out to his father in a new ad, but the gay candidate isn't remembering the time he said 'I'm gay'. Sexuality isn't the issue. Instead, he's remembering when he revealed his positions on gun control, abortion rights, tax reform, pay equity, and equality for All Americans, positions which his Tea Party-aligned dad, wasn't and isn't ready to accept.

Says Sciortino, who's running to succeed Ed Markey in the MA-05 special House election:

“My father and I disagree on just about everything. I am grateful that he was willing to appear in my TV ad even though he probably thinks he should be running against me.”

Responds, Carl Sr.:

“My son is a Massachusetts Liberal and, what’s worse, he’s proud of it. But I love him anyway.”

Sciortino has been a four-term state representative and has taken strong and early positions against the use of military force in Syrian and has passed landmark legislation establishing a 35-foot buffer zone at abortion clinics to protect women from harassment. His ad is set to run throughout the district on Wednesday.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Gay Congressional Candidate 'Came Out' to Tea Party Father...as a 'Proud Massachusetts Liberal' — VIDEO" »


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