Dear Councilor Linehan:
I am a voter and longtime gay activist in the South End, and serve as Chair of the Anti-Violence Project and Clerk of Join the Impact MA. I met you in June of 2010 when I served as Grand Marshall of the Boston LGBT Pride Parade. I was very distressed to read about the disparaging remarks about Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi attributed to you in her column today. Is it true that you suggested that Rep. Barney Frank and Gov. Deval Patrick would help Republican Senator Scott Brown if they campaigned for his Democratic opponent in South Boston? If so, that claim, even in jest, sounds an awful lot like an assertion that gay people and black people are not welcome in South Boston. Of course, we know that proud gay people are not welcome in the “official” South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade—Join the Impact MA and MassEquality applied for permission to march in the “official” parade and were denied on grounds of sexual orientation. Members of Join the Impact MA marched in the “mile behind” Peace Parade and were quite well received by people in South Boston out celebrating the holiday.
Ms. Vennochi wondered how your South End constituents would react to the “ditty” attributed to you, disparaging Ms. Warren. As a South End constituent, I can assure you that any implication that Congressman Frank or Governor Patrick would be unwelcome in South Boston is deeply offensive to LGBT voters. I certainly hope you are not supporting a Republican candidate for the US Senate given the intense homophobia of the national Republican party. Senator Brown, despite his reluctant vote to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, is very much an opponent of LGBT equality and no friend of our community.
I ask that you be more sensitive, if Ms. Venocchi is correct in her attribution, to the fact that you represent a lot of LGBT people who find the exclusion of proud LGBT folks from the “official” South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade repugnant. We are never going back to the hateful, discriminatory time before the Stonewall Riots.
cc: Bay Windows