charles baker

Massachusetts GOP’s Gubernatorial Pick Is Pro-Gay. And Anti-Trans

At yesterday’s state GOP convention, Charles Baker received resounding support as the party’s pick for governor, shutting down Christy Mihos’s attempt with a 89-11 percent vote. Not only is he in favor of same-sex marriage, but he’s campaigning with Richard Tisei (pictured, right), the out state senator. (He’ll face off against Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick and State Treasurer Tim Cahill, the Democrat running as an Independent.) Not that they see eye-to-eye on all things LGBT. The Boston Globe notes:

At one point before the balloting, Baker faced a revolt among social conservatives who flooded the delegations with a leaflet attacking a bill for transgender rights that Senator Richard Tisei has cosponsored with other lawmakers. Contending that it would allow men to enter women’s bathrooms, they demanded to know whether Baker supported the bill. The Baker campaign immediately circulated a leaflet saying he would veto the “bathroom bill’’ if he were elected.

The issue could have cost Baker some critical votes at a time when his aides were not certain he had enough to block Mihos from the ballot. Mihos fanned the flames, declaring to applause that he would veto the “bathroom bill.’’

“There is a lot of buzzing going on,’’ said Kris Mineau, a conservative activist and delegate from North Reading. He said Baker’s statement was a “positive influence’’ in his decision about whom to support; he declined to say whom he ultimately backed.

But surely Baker, the pro-gay marriage (in a state that already legalized it) candidate, stood up to this nonsense, right?

At an awkward press conference after Baker won the convention’s endorsement, he stood next to Tisei and said he opposed his running mate’s legislation and was not concerned about labeling it “the bathroom bill’’ — a term used by opponents of gay rights. Baker, who supports gay marriage and abortion rights, denied that he was trying to court social conservatives.

“I think a guy who supports gay marriage and is prochoice and has been pretty clear on those and picked a gay fella as his running mate is pretty much not pandering to much of anybody,’’ Baker said, putting a hand on Tisei’s shoulder.

Transgender voters: Still marginalized by politicos.