MassEquality bestows honor.
On Wednesday, Feb. 29, LGBT advocacy organization MassEquality will honor Boston Mayor Tom Menino, philanthropic icon Ron Ansin, corporate icon Eastern Bank, and community icon Gladys Vega of Chelsea Collaborative at its Icon Awards. The event takes place at 6 p.m. at The State Room (60 State St., Boston).
Menino took some time on Tuesday to talk with Bay Windows about how he feels about the honor. “I don’t deserve this award,” Menino said. “I represent all the people of Boston. It’s about social justice. It’s about doing the right thing.”
It may have been impossible to predict that this life-long resident of the Readville section of Hyde Park would become what many consider the most pro-gay mayor in the nation (Bay Windows, in fact, called Menino a ‘conservative’ in a cautionary headline in 1993 when he became acting mayor, replacing Ray Flynn). But Menino has always been an advocate. His advocacy ranges from his boycott of the discriminatory South Boston St. Patrick’s Parade his very first year in office to his welcoming couples to City Hall the first day same-sex marriages became legal.
Menino has also taken his message of equality on the road. At a conference on Jan. 20 in Washington D.C., Menino along with some of the 80 mayors who support same-sex marriage for all LGBT citizens, got to work toward that goal.
"It was nearly eight years ago that my city was the first large city in the country to marry same-sex couples," Menino, a co-chair of the event, said at the conference.
"Back then, it was a big deal. People were protesting everywhere, and we were the focus of international news. Well, eight years later, I’m here to tell you that marriage for gay couples has made my city of Boston a much better place," Menino said.
“I’ve always had gay friends,” Menino said on Tuesday, “I’m humbled to be recognized with the people working for social justice like [fellow honorees] Ron Ansin, Gladys Vega, and the good work that the people at Eastern Bank are doing.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit massequality.org.