Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09



Dems lose critical 60th seat in Mass.
News Update, Jan. 20, 2010
by Chuck Colbert, Keen News Service

This article shared 4191 times since Wed Jan 20, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

BOSTON—It's a double victory for Republicans: Republican Scott Brown has won the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts and taken away from the Democratic majority in Congress its critical 60th vote in the Senate.

The vote Jan. 19 was a special election held to fill the remaining term of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, who succumbed to brain cancer last August after serving 46 years. While Kennedy was seen as one of the Senate's most reliable champions for civil rights, including for the LGBT community, Brown is seen as a staunch opponent. Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, the state's attorney general, was also seen as a strong supporter of LGBT rights, making the result an even more stinging loss for the community.

With all the precincts reporting, Brown defeated Coakley by a 52-47 percent margin, according to New England Cable News.

The secretary of state predicted more than 40 percent of the electorate would show up to vote in the hotly contested race; but in most cities and towns, turnout surpassed 50 percent and was as high as 70 percent-plus in some towns. Turnout in predominantly gay neighborhoods, such as Boston's South End and Provincetown was also reportedly high.

LGBT-rights groups worked intensely on a gay get-out-the-vote effort in support of Coakley.

MassEquality sent e-mail alerts to a 40,000-member e-mail list, as well as direct snail-mail literature to 10,000 members, according to Dee Dee Edmondson, political director for the group. Openly gay state Rep. Carl Sciortino also recorded a message for the organization in response to anti gay-baiting robo calls that were generated over the weekend by the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage. And all week MassEquality volunteers staffed phone banks to remind LGBT people to vote. Unlike the 1990 gubernatorial race, this election was not close enough for the LGBT vote to make a difference.

"Despite Scott Brown's victory," said LGBT community leader Elyse Cherry of Brookline, a Coakley supporter, "people here have gotten quite used to equal marriage. It's hard for me to see that changing." Cherry was on hand at the Boston Sheraton, where Coakley supporters gathered for election-night returns. And while "Brown has a very strong anti-gay record," Cherry said, "it's not clear that [ anti-gay sentiment ] drove this election."

But the special election took an ugly turn last weekend, when an out-of-state organization employed anti-gay marriage messages in an effort to promote Brown's candidacy.

With barely three days left in the already short special election campaign, the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage began Jan. 16 to deliver a series of automated anti-gay "robo" phone calls in support of Brown and against Coakley. In the calls, which originated in a 202 area code from the Washington, D.C., a recorded male voice asks residents if they view marriage defined as "only between one man and one woman." If they indicated "Yes," they were urged to vote for Brown, "the only candidate with a proven track record" of supporting traditional marriage. The call also labeled Coakley as a "radical" same-sex-marriage supporter who opposed letting the people vote on the issue and who used taxpayer dollars to support a same-sex marriage "agenda."

And yet Coakley stood firm on her commitment to marriage equality. During a rally at Boston's Fairmont Copley Hotel Jan. 15, Coakley reaffirmed that support before a primarily straight ballroom packed full of 1,500 Democratic Party national and statewide first-string movers and shakers, including former President Bill Clinton, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, Gov. Deval Patrick, U.S. Reps. Ed Markey and Niki Tsongas, Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray and Boston Mayor Tom Menino, among other state and local elected officials.

"I want my nieces and my nephews to grow up in world where they can have a good education, in a world that is safe, and that respects their choices in life—whom to marry, for instance," said Coakley. Many LGBT supporters identified Coakley's decision to challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act in federal court as one of the reasons they supported her.

LGBT activist Don Gorton of Boston said he thinks Brown "escaped scrutiny for his socially conservative beliefs that are at odds with the Massachusetts mainstream."

And Democratic party gay activist Craig Winskowicz of Boston, who attended the Clinton rally for Coakley, voiced a widespread LGBT community view of Brown.

"This is a guy who actually wrote anti-gay legislation for [ former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ] and was a big Romney supporter, trying to stop gay marriage."

But national political observers were crediting Brown's victory to a big boost from independent voters, many of who are reportedly unhappy about what they see as a failure of President Obama and the Democrats to produce results quickly enough on the economy, health care reform, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And in Massachusetts, anger has also been rising over the latest reports of corruption in the Democratic-controlled legislature, where several state lawmakers, including a former House speaker, have resigned in disgrace. There was also a perception by many that Coakley and the Democrats believed Kennedy's Senate seat was a done deal and that voters would pay homage to Kennedy's legacy by preserving it as a Democratic seat.

Wherever the truth lies, the numbers write the bottom line: Democrats and their Independent comrades can now boast only 59 votes in a Senate that has been deeply divided over a number of issues. And without that 60th vote, neither the Senate nor Congress is expected to be able to move any controversial legislation.

©2010 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

This article shared 4191 times since Wed Jan 20, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Elected school-board bill passes Illinois House 2021-06-16
- In a move seen as a bitter defeat for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Illinois House sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker legislation that would shift control of Chicago Public Schools from the mayor to an elected ...

Gay News

Senate hearings for Gina Ortiz Jones, Shawn Skelly; historic if confirmed 2021-06-16
--From a press release - Washington, DC — The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold confirmation hearings for two LGBTQ presidential nominees this Wednesday and both will make history if confirmed. Gina Ortiz Jones, nominated for Under Secretary of the Air ...

Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs legislation making Juneteenth an official state holiday 2021-06-16
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — On June 16, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation declaring June 19, Juneteenth, an official state holiday. To commemorate the abolition of slavery throughout the United States and its territories in 1865, Juneteenth will ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Panic defense, VP Kamala Harris, Black LGBTQ app, crime items 2021-06-13
- Four states and the nation's capital have taken action to ban the so-called LGBTQ "panic defense," which is a legal strategy used by defendants to cite a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity as an excuse ...

Gay News

Congress makes Pulse Nightclub a national memorial 2021-06-12
- The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation designating the site of the Pulse Nightclub a national memorial, NBC News reported. The House passed its version of the bill May 12. The measure now goes to President Joe ...

Gay News

Chicago has moved to Phase 5 2021-06-11
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, along with CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareño, city and community leaders, announced Chicago has moved to Phase 5, fully reopening the city as of June ...

Gay News

ON THE MOVE How Chicago's 'gayborhoods' have shifted since 1965 2021-06-10
- Chicago's gayborhoods (LGBTQ+ neighborhoods) and safe spaces have been important to the city's LGBTQ+ rights movement—and saving them post-COVID may be crucial. New research at Georgetown University highlights the importance ...

Gay News

Lightfoot marks Pride Month at Legacy Project event 2021-06-08
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot was among the speakers at a June 7 Legacy Project event marking Chicago's 2021 Pride Month observance. Other speakers at the event, which was moved indoors to Center on Halsted due to inclement ...

Gay News

WORLD: Domestic violence, activist dies, Jerusalem Pride, Olympics 2021-06-06
- On May 28, the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Foundation launched its #SeenAndBelieved campaign to shine a light on the prevalence of DFV (domestic and family violence) in LGBTQ communities, aiming to break down the barriers to victims ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Election news, AsylumConnect, Pride business items, 'Bears' 2021-06-06
- In Pennsylvania, in a race between contenders in the Democratic primary for Erie County executive, Tyler Titus—a trans person who currently serves as Erie School Board president—was declared the winner, according to The Washington Blade. Titus ...

Gay News

First gay Black man elected to office in Texas 2021-06-06
- On June 5, Jalen McKee-Rodriguez was elected to represent District 2 for the San Antonio City Council—making him the first openly gay Black man elected to any office in Texas history, reported. McKee-Rodriguez, 26, defeated ...

Gay News

Noriega named chair of the state's Human Rights Commission 2021-06-05
- Among the appointments Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker named to various state boards and commissions on June 4 was Mona Noriega as chair of the Human Rights Commission. ...

Gay News

Harold J. Phillips appointed director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy 2021-06-05
--From a press release - Statement from Jeffrey S. Crowley, distinguished scholar and director of the Infectious Disease Initiatives at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center: I applaud President Biden's appointment of ...

Gay News

Trans-affirming election legislation passed by Illinois General Assembly, Equality Illinois responds 2021-06-04
--From a press release - Statement from Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, on passage of Senate Bill 825, the trans-affirming election omnibus legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly on Monday, May 31, 2021: "During Pride Month and at ...

Gay News

Cook County commissioners mark Pride Month 2021-06-04
- On June 1, Cook County commissioners held a flag-raising event at Daley Plaza to celebrate Pride Month. Among those who spoke were openly gay Commissioner Kevin Morrison. In part, he said, "By raising the rainbow flag, ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.