Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coakley for U.S. Senate, yes…

In response to last week's column by Jeff Epperly in Bay Windows newspaper

Letter to the Editor:

I think that Jeff Epperly needs a reality check when it comes to recognizing the all work Martha Coakley has done for the LGBT community as State Attorney General. First, when Martha Coakley was the Middlesex District Attorney she reached out to and built relationships with LGBT domestic violence programs like the one I was working for at the time, The Network/La Red. Standing up for survivors of same-sex domestic violence doesn’t happen nearly enough in the LGBT community, let alone with the larger criminal justice system, but that was something Martha Coakley just did.

Second, as State Attorney General, Martha Coakley came out early for transgender civil rights as the first statewide elected official to publicly supporting “An Act Relative to Gender-Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes.” In addition to supporting the transgender civil rights bill, since taking office she has sought civil rights injunctions in numerous cases involving hate crimes against LGBT victims. This included obtaining a civil rights injunction against two men who attacked a transgender teenage in a Dorchester pizza shop. Typically, transgender people, especially young people, are ignored by our criminal justice system, but this has not been the case with Martha Coakley.

Additionally, the staff in her office respond to every referral I have made regarding situations of mistreatment and discrimination against members of the transgender community. This type of action from her staff reflects Martha Coakley’s own strong commitment to the LGBT community and serving those whose voices are not always represented. I feel that Martha Coakley stands up for those who have traditionally been shut out of the system. Whether they are victims of violence, transgender teens, or same-sex couples that seek to have their relationships recognized by our federal government, she has been a strong advocate as our State Attorney General. No one will ever be Senator Kennedy, but I strongly believe that Martha Coakley will continue in the role of advocating for those who are less privileged, for all the citizens of Massachusetts, and in the best interests of the Commonwealth as our Senator in Washington DC.

This represents my own opinion and not that of any organization I work for or have worked for.

1 comment:

  1. Great letter to the editor. I hope that it gets published!