A gay Republican from Massachusetts is completely flabbergasted that nobody from his party wants to hear about the homophobic smear campaign one of their colleagues launched against him.
Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette is an openly gay Trump-supporting member of the Massachusetts’ Republican State Committee currently running for the 2nd Congressional District.
But when Debbie Martell, the Republican state committeewoman, got wind of the fact that he and his husband, Julian, had two adopted children, she began emailing everyone she knew telling them she was “sickened” by the fact that a member of her party was gay and urging someone–anyone!–to primary him.
“I hear he’s a married homosexual man,” she wrote in an email obtained by the Boston Globe. “That sickens me that he adopted his children.”
After getting wind of the emails, Sossa-Paquette created an online petition demanding Martell resign. But she made it crystal clear this week that that’s not gonna happen.
“I do not intend to be bullied into resigning,” she reportedly said during a closed-door meeting.
She also sent Sossa-Paquette an email clarifying her remarks, writing: “I am a Catholic who loves God and His Ten Commandments. I wish the best for every person in the world, including you! What sickened me was that you adopted children.”
“Children deserve a mom and a dad,” she added. “That’s how God designed marriage and the family.”
When Sossa-Paquette reached out to the state party’s chairman, Jim Lyons, for help, Lyons refused to condemn Martell because he said it would be “cancel culture.” (Evidently, however, trying to coordinate a backdoor primary challenge against a member of one’s own party is not.)
In a statement, Lyons called Martell “a woman of deep Catholic faith” and said he believes “freedom of speech and religious liberty are values that are unbending and uncompromising.”
— MassGOP (@massgop) June 5, 2021
Sossa-Paquette has since been looking for members of his party to rally around him, and he’s found some, but, for the most part, their support has been tepid, at best.
A few have put out vague statements decrying bigotry and saying Martell’s beliefs have “no place in public discourse.” (Privately, however, is another story.) Massachusetts GOP Vice Chair Tom Mountain was perhaps the most forceful when he said Martell “did a bad thing” and “made our party look really bad.”
When Sossa-Paquette requested to speak about the matter before the Massachusetts Republican state committee this week, he was denied the opportunity.
“After my family and myself being attacked, I’m not allowed to address the State Committee on June 9th meeting,” he tweeted to a local journalist.
— Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette (@JeffreyCongress) June 8, 2021
Sounds like this guy needs to learn how to take a hint. Or maybe he’s just a glutton for punishment?
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.