For more than a decade, I have fought for the rights of the LGBTQ community in the state legislature, and I was proud to have helped make Massachusetts the first state in the country to allow marriage equality. It remains my proudest vote as a legislator.
Ten years ago, marriage equality was a tough subject for a number of my friends on Beacon Hill and in my district. But I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do. And I was proud to work in the trenches with LGBTQ advocates to secure the votes for marriage equality. When she endorsed me, my friend Arline Isaacson said, “When you are in a war for something as important as your very right to marry, you want to have in the trenches with you someone you can trust, someone who understands how important the fight is and someone who is committed to do everything he can to help you.” I
I was also proud to vote for the Transgender Civil Rights Bill, and to support legislation and community work on issues affecting homeless youth, LGBTQ seniors, HIV/AIDS funding, and LGBTQ domestic violence programs. I promise you that I will continue this important work as the next Mayor of Boston.
I want to help LGBTQ youth through establishing designated “Safe Spaces” at schools and a “Pathways to Inclusion” initiative to provide mandatory anti-bullying workshops for all students. We need to develop transitional housing and social services for LGBTQ homeless youth, and create an official LGBTQ liaison within Boston Public Schools. We need a comprehensive Transgender Student Policy.
We need services for our LGBTQ seniors, by developing a system for senior care centers to voluntarily apply for LGBTQ-friendly designation, by encouraging and supporting volunteer LGBTQ senior speakers to share their stories through a public service campaign, and by mandating that city-funded organizations serving seniors be trained and certified in providing LGBTQ-appropriate care.
And as Mayor, I will create an LGBTQ Commission to serve as advisors to the City, and to create a LGBTQ City Hall Liaison position to provide resources and access to services through the City. I will appoint school committee members who support a commitment to LGBTQ rights, and enhance LGBTQ trainings for the Boston Police Department.
My record is strong and my plans are concrete. Together we can make Boston a more inclusive and welcoming city for everyone. I ask for your consideration and for your vote on Tuesday, November 5th.