Powerful, Handsome, Rich and Anti-Equality

By Pat Gozemba

“Powerful, handsome, rich people like JFK Jr. and Princess Di are dead so now it’s up to me to take care of the world.” So saith Republican Scott Brown, candidate for the US Senate seat once occupied by Ted Kennedy. Don’t believe me? I know it’s pretty unbelievable.

On December 11th , WCVB-TV Channel 5 in Boston ran a piece on Brown and his opponent Democrat Martha Coakley. She talked about her heroes, people like Abigail Adams and John Adams. But Brown identified with the “powerful, handsome and rich”—JFK, Jr. and Princess Di. He promised to pick up where they left off. He’s alive. They’re dead. It’s up to Scott. Check it out:


Tina Fey couldn’t have thought up a better routine to pump up Coakley’s campaign.

Besides his sheer arrogance, I am truly disturbed by his consistent commitment to deny equality to LGBT people in Massachusetts. Whenever there is an opportunity to make sure: that funding does not go to LGBT youth, that marriage equality should be blocked, that the rights of trans people should be curtailed, that LGBT seniors should not get the same coverage that heterosexuals get, Brown is there in the Massachusetts Senate to vote anti-equality.

In contrast, Coakley continues to be one of the LGBT community’s staunchest allies. As Massachusetts Attorney General her most recent bold move on our behalf was in challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”). On July 8, 2009, Coakley became the highest elected official in the US to take on this discriminatory federal act. No other attorney general in our country had the insight or guts to file a case in a federal district court challenging this blatantly discriminatory act.

Brown did not vote to support marriage equality in Massachusetts—even over a 5 year period. Nothing. He’s that far away from even imagining looking for equality for LGBT people at the federal level. Meanwhile Coakley’s office explained the discrimination against us in the July 8th press release:

“The Commonwealth’s complaint alleges that Section 3 of DOMA unlawfully creates separate and unequal categories of married individuals in Massachusetts, due to the fact that only different-sex married couples are considered married under federal law.  Among other things, DOMA prohibits married individuals in same-sex relationships from taking advantage of the ability to file a joint federal tax return, Social Security survivor benefits, guaranteed leave from work to care for sick spouses, flexible spending accounts for medical expenses of spouses, and gift tax and estate tax exemptions for spouses.  These rights and protections affect all facets of life from the workplace to healthcare to retirement, and every married person is affected significantly by these laws.

The Attorney General’s Office further contends that Section 3 of DOMA unlawfully requires Massachusetts to disregard valid marriages in its implementation of federally funded programs.  The complaint focuses specifically on two programs, MassHealth and veterans’ cemeteries.” More

The senate choice for people who support civil rights for LGBT people is clear: Coakley.  What Brown fails to realize is that the “powerful, handsome, rich” JFK Jr. and Princess Di actually did support civil rights for LGBT people, as did Ted Kennedy.

Handsome is as handsome does, Scott.

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