“I don’t think people really care these days.” That’s Richard Tisei, Massachusetts’ State Senate minority leader and just announced gubernatorial running mate of the mostly inexperienced Republican Charles Baker, on how his sexuality is no big deal. What!
As Baker (pictured, below) last week slimmed his lieutenant governor choices in his run for Massachusetts governor, Tisei’s sexuality became an issue — in so much as it was a non-issue.
First taking public office at age 22 in the State House before jumping to the Senate in 1991, the Tisei’s orientation “has been an open secret on Beacon Hill,” relays the Globe, which confirmed things in an interview. “It is not exactly a news flash,’’ the says the lawmaker, who’s been serving as Baker’s campaign chairman. (In Massachusetts, governors and their lieutenants are not officially on the same campaign ticket, but are allowed to run together; other challenger for either post can still come along.)
Well maybe not a news flash in political circles. But to the rest of us? That a gay Republican could be Massachusetts’s No. 2? That’s a “flash” of something.
Maybe it’s history.
Massachusetts, the first American state to legalize same-sex marriage, has a leg up on normalizing the gays. And it’s a crazy, crazy world when an openly gay man — a Republican, no less — can run for such a high state office.
So if Tisei wins? We recommend he give a certain fellow gay lieutenant governor a call with some career closet advice.