By: Laurel RamseyerI don’t come before you with a checklist of items promising that I will be an advocate for you on each and every one of them. My opponent has already started down that road, promising to support everyone’s pet project. That’s not the way I have ever operated. [snip]
I believe all people should be treated with dignity and respect. I recognize the liberty of every citizen to live as they choose, and it is from this diversity that we derive our strength as a nation. We are Americans first and must work together to fix our country’s real economic problems.
So apparently working to pass ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) to ensure the basic civil right to not be fired from your job because you are or are perceived to be trans or gay is just someone’s “pet project”. It’s not a “real economic problem”. Getting the federal government to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and finally recognize same-sex civil marriages just like it recognizes every other civil marriage legally enacted under state law is a “pet project”.
[*TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of child sexual abuse]
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown says as a child he was physically abused by stepfathers and and sexually abused by a camp counselor in an upcoming interview with 60 Minutes.
Brown said his mother did not know he was sexually abused, and the counselor threatened to kill him if he told anybody about the multiple encounters.
"That’s what happens when you’re a victim. You’re embarrassed. You’re hurt," he told Leslie Stahl.
Brown also said he looked into buying one of his childhood homes just to burn it.
"I actually called the realtor and went in and took the tour and relived kind of where everything was…to make sure I wasn’t …dreaming. As I left, I said, ‘Man, I wish I had the money. I’d just buy this thing and burn it down.’"
Brown’s upcoming book, Against All Odds, chronicles these and other abuses he had endured as a child. He says that his experiences shaped him to fight as a politician.
Conservative Republicans and Tea Party advocates are on the hunt for a primary challenger for Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown after his reaching across the aisle to support several pieces of legislation this year, including the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Brown, a Republican, was chosen in a special election in January to assume the seat held by late Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died in 2009. He is up for full election in 2012.
Aside from his vote to repeal the military’s ban on gay and lesbian service members, Salon reports Brown has drawn the ire of conservatives for his support of the New Start treaty, Wall Street reform over the summer, and a jobs bill earlier this year.
"I think that there will be a primary challenge," Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party, told the Boston Globe last Friday. “There’s enough of an underground movement in the Tea Party movement as seeing him as not being conservative enough. There probably will be multiple people who attempt to run against him.”
Brown is still popular in his state, and polling stronger than senior Sen. John Kerry, according to the report.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) announced on Friday he would support an end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in a statement that could bring repeal advocates closer to their goal of lifting the military’s gay ban.
Brown said he’s basing his new support for ending the ban on the recently released Pentagon report and the recommendations of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has called on Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
“I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed,” Brown said.
Brown’s office didn’t respond on short notice to confirm whether this announcement means the senator is committed to voting for moving forward with the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill, the vehicle to which repeal language is attached. In September, Brown voted with the rest of the Republican caucus to prevent the legislation from coming to the Senate floor.
In a statement, Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, commended Brown for endorsing repeal. Still, Solmonese said he hopes this support translates to vote in favor of a motion to proceed on the defense authorization bill.
“Support for repealing the ban on open service by gays and lesbians continues to strengthen in the U.S. Senate and supporters will soon be put to the test,” Solmonese said. ”The true measure of whether or not one supports an end to this policy will come as the Senate considers if they will begin debate on the defense bill. Make no mistake, a vote against the motion to proceed is a vote against [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’] repeal.”
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said he welcomes Brown’s comments as he advised Republicans against once again blocking consideration of the defense authorization bill.
“If the 42 GOP senators — including several who support repeal of ‘Don’t Ask’ — stand with their party on process and procedure, their vote will be an endorsement of the discrimination that has cost 14,000 men and women their jobs and put our country’s national security at risk,” Sarvis said.
The complete statement from Brown’s office follows:
“I have been in the military for 31 years and counting, and have served as a subordinate and as an officer. As a legislator, I have spent a significant amount of time on military issues. During my time of service, I have visited our injured troops at Walter Reed and have attended funerals of our fallen heroes. When a soldier answers the call to serve, and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honor.
“I pledged to keep an open mind about the present policy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary Gates and others, I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.”