On Tuesday, the Boston Globe reported it was endorsing openly gay Republican Richard Tisei for Representative in Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District race against incumbent Democrat John F. Tierney, who has been saddled with controversy and dwindling popularity.
“There’s longstanding evidence of Tisei’s willingness to defy his party and even public sentiment at key points,” the papers’ editorial reads. “He voted against rolling back the state income tax from 5.3 percent to 5 percent because he didn’t think the state could afford to do so. He argues that, because he would be the only openly gay Republican to be elected to Congress, he would have a national profile of sorts. He would—and he should use it to press for tolerance and moderation among his fellow Republicans.”
If he wins, Tisei, 50, will become the first gay Republican to reveal his orientation before taking office.
Massachusetts generally swings Democrat—as does the Globe—but Tierney has been tarred by an illegal offshore gambling scam involving his wife and brother-in-law.
Tisei’s moderate—in some cases downright progressive—views don’t fall into typical GOP ideology. He supports marriage equality (thank God), as well as a woman’s right to choose. And the former state senator says electing an out Republican would send a strong message to both his party and the nation: “As gay [people], we will never have true equality until we have people on both sides of the aisle who are willing to stand up for the concept that everybody should be treated fairly under the law.”
A Globe poll from earlier this month puts Tisei six points ahead of Tierney, who has received endorsements from The Rainbow Times and Rep. Barney Frank.