Massachusetts senate candidate Elizabeth Warren releases her It Gets Better video to commemorate today’s designation as No Name Calling Day. Warren spoke with Bay Windows on Friday, Jan. 20.
Bay Windows: Do you fear living up to the expectations the LGBT community has for you and your campaign?
Elizabeth Warren: I’m afraid every day. But that doesn’t mean that I’ll ever stop trying. That’s all I can ever promise.
BW: What are your main priorities for the LGBT community, if elected?
EW: Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. I find it personally offensive that the federal government would pass a law to say that the terms of marriage should be left to the states; and then each state must recognize every other state’s marriage laws and then the federal government will recognize those laws except in the case of marriage equality. To discriminate against our own people and to enshrine that in federal law appalls me.
BW: Does your background in finance and economics give you insight to the costs, to both individuals and the government, of discrimination?
EW: I first wrestled with DOMA in my bankruptcy work. As you may know, a married couple is entitled to certain jointly held benefits if they file for bankruptcy but that is denied a same-sex couple married here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That’s where I first started talking about this issue and the impact DOMA has on people in very tangible ways.
Working in an economic field for so long makes me comfortable making the strong economic defense for economic equality and treatment.
BW: As you may know, Bay Windows has repeatedly requested an interview with Senator Scott Brown. He has a good record on our issues. His campaign has not returned our calls or emails. I don’t want to ask you to get into Senator Brown’s head, but is there any constituency that you would not talk to?
EW: I want to reach out to everyone in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I want to talk. I want to engage in conversation with people whether they agree with me or not. I can’t imagine a different approach.
BW: Was there a moment in your life that changed your perception of LGBT people or have you always seen the community the way you do now?
EW: There is no single moment I can point to. LGBT people have been part of my life as long as I can remember. I’ve had friends, students, family members who are . The LGBT community is not separate from the rest of us. We are all woven together and our lives are woven together.
BW: As senator, how do you feel you would use the bully pulpit?
EW: The senator from Massachusetts ought to be a leader on LGBT issues. The bully pulpit of the United States Senate creates the opportunity to call out injustice and to speak of our values in a clear voice. I would be deeply honored to represent all of the citizens of Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
I’m running for the United States Senate because I believe in equality of opportunity for all of our citizens. For me it often translates into economic opportunity. But the basic principal is there in all dimensions. We have to do what’s right. It defines who we are as people and the kind of country we are building. It’s just the right thing to do.