Letter: Tisei's political ties cloud gay rights stands

The following was published in today's Gloucester Times:

To the editor:

“If you want someone who not only understands the issues but understands the process, who can be trusted to preserve and protect your civil rights, vote Richard Tisei for Congress.”

So said Ellen Canavan in her letter to the editor endorsing Republican Richard Tisei’s congressional candidacy (the Times, Tuesday, Sept. 16).

Now, as a homosexual American, I have to take issue with Ms. Canavan’s assertion that Mr. Tisei is the candidate I should trust to “preserve and protect” my civil rights.

My reasons for doing so are numerous but, in the interest of space, I will focus on just two.

First, how am I to trust Mr. Tisei to “preserve and protect” my civil rights as a homosexual American when he has publicly stated his support for House Speaker John Boehner, a right-wing conservative who not only wholeheartedly supported the discriminatory 1996 Defense of Marriage Act when it was initially enacted, but also spent millions of taxpayers’ dollars defending DOMA when it was argued at the Supreme Court last year?

How am I, as a homosexual American, to trust Mr. Tisei to “preserve and protect” my civil rights when he has said on several occasions recently that, if elected, he will likely vote for John Boehner to retain the Speaker’s gavel if, as seems likely, the GOP maintains control of the House of Representatives?

How am I, as a homosexual American, to trust Richard Tisei to “preserve and protect” my civil rights when he formed a joint political action committee with a far-right, GOP congressional candidate from New Hampshire who is a long time opponent of marriage equality for same gender couples in the Granite State and across the nation at large?

Second, and perhaps mot important, why should I trust any Republican today given the ugly, anti-gay rhetoric that is so prevalent within the once great party of Lincoln, particularly among those who, like Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Perry, aspire to the presidency and pander to the party’s far right, fundamentalist Christian, biblically literalist base in truly ugly ways as they try to gin up support for 2016?

These are questions I hope all Democratic, liberal, independent, and even the many moderate Republican voters I know take seriously as the race for the 6th District Congressional seat heats up in earnest.

I need to see a lot more hard evidence before I can believe that Richard Tisei, and the entire GOP for that matter, is the man or the party I can “trust” to “preserve and protect” my civil rights — a lot more!

MICHAEL COOK

Gloucester

 

Read the original letter here.