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.

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  • delurker again

    So are most “masc” gay guys…

  • Chris

    And I guess Tisei stood there smiling. A disappointment.

  • Daniel

    There is no such thing as LGBT. It is made up. A fantasy pushed by unelected gay orgs and blogs like Queerty.

    Most transgendered people are straight, some have a diagnosable disorder (GID) and some want to surgery to bring their bodies in line with their gender identity. This has nothing to do with gay people, just as this bathroom controversy has nothing to do with gay people.

    While I have no problem letting transgendereds use whatever bathroom they want, I also have no problem with this pro-gay politician making a distinction b/t gay rights and transgender bathroom “rights”.

  • FoolMe1

    “There is no such thing as LGBT. It is made up. A fantasy pushed by unelected gay orgs and blogs like Queerty.”

    That is a perception that is mostly found among white middle-class G&L&T people. POC, poor, and non-European/USian folks really don’t se much important distinctions. The idea of a fractured group is both culturally and historically invalid and a fantasy pushed by assimilationist gay and lesbian folks taht is not reflected by the greater global communities.

    “Most transgendered people are straight, some have a diagnosable disorder (GID) and some want to surgery to bring their bodies in line with their gender identity. This has nothing to do with gay people, just as this bathroom controversy has nothing to do with gay people.”

    I don’t think there has been any research about the sexuality of “most” trans people. It could be argued easily that however one transitions, one either moves through or into “the gay community”. Homoness was a diagnosable disorder – and your point is fully wasted and make no sense other than to play some “mental health stigma” game. You are right, it has nothing to do with gay people, you boys have your own T-Room issues to work through don’t you? At least trans people want to use the bathroom for, you know, going #1 and #2 – not doing a “wide stance dance”. Good point daniel

  • Baxter

    @Daniel: It’s true that gays and bisexuals have very little in common with transgendered people. But there’s also a lot of scientific evidence that gay men have very little in common with lesbians. It’s just a useful shorthand and since we face many of the same issues, it helps to build a larger coalition. Of course since the LGB community seems to be a lot more socially acceptable than the trans community, it might also be hurting us politically.

    I also agree that transgender rights are a lot more complex than LGB rights, just because there are so many different levels of transgender identity and because gender is kind of a big deal. Should a male-to-female transgendered person be able to use a woman’s restroom if they are still physically male? I don’t know. It’s a complicated issue and I can see both sides of the question. I don’t blame policy makers for being cautious, although I wish they wouldn’t turn it into a trans hysteria thing.

  • Daniel


    Thank you for your thoughtful response. I largely agree with you. On the lesbian-gay issue, it surely is true that there are differences. But the characteristic that defines both groups is the same – same-sex attraction. Ditto for bisexuals. So it makes perfect sense to refer to a GLB community, because everyone who is defined as G, L, or B experiences same-sex attraction and faces discrimination because of it.

    Ts on the other hand, are not defined by their sexual orientation. They can be any sexual orientation and we are constantly lectured by trannie activists that gender is different than sexual orientation. It makes no logical sense to say that GLBs are definitionally the same as Ts.

    Do you have any support for your statement that “POC, poor, and non-European/USian folks really don’t see much important distinction:? You are making a statement about the beliefs of tens of millions of people on a fairly obscure issue. A poll? something? Anything? Or are you just a racist who likes to generalize about people of color and white people?


    @FoolMe1: What the hell is a “USian”?

  • Kieran

    We’ve finally got a Republican who sounds solidly pro-gay and we’re supposed to quibble with him for not being sufficiently supportive of “bathroom rights” for transgendered people? Seriously? What’s next, demanding a transvestite be named to his cabinet?

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    Equality is not about the particular group. Equality under the law is about a principle that either you believe in for everyone or you do not. It doesn’t matter that trans people are not like gays. That’s not the point. You are using the same logic that African Americans use to say that gay rights has nothing to do with the black civil rights movement. It is a superficial understanding of what is at stake. This is something that civil rights leaders such as Coretta Scott King and others got- that we are either all equal or none of us are. You are going to achieve your equality by accepting inequality for others. That’s the lesson. Well, that an divide and conquer. If you are a bigot here on trans right, then thats another wedge that the bigots on gay rights can use against you. “oh look they are not ‘really’ for equality” Some of you are too stupid to get this, and I honestly don’t expect you to listen now. But I think it is important to say equality is not about you or I- it’s about us.

  • Kieran

    I don’t know about you, but I find myself drawn to reading every post marked ‘Hidden due to low rating’—-just out of normal curiosity. I want to see how “BAD” it really is. It’s kind of like choosing an R rated movie over a G. LOL

  • Kieran

    Well if it’s about fighting for equality for everybody D’oh, then why don’t we call ourselves the LGBTDHMR community, fighting for the rights of the Handicapped, Dwarfs, and Mentally retarded people in society?

  • Daniel


    I am with you, Kiernan. Trannies are notorious censors. They can’t argue persuasively, so they shut people down. I would consider a low rating on a trannie-related post to be a badge of honor.

  • Patrick Garies

    “Should a male-to-female transgendered person be able to use a woman’s restroom if they are still physically male? I don’t know.”

    This is really simple: end gender segregation of restrooms.

    There’s no good reason for them and they are wasteful:
    * duplicate facilities
    * one-half of them can’t be used by some even when not in use
    * it’s harder to escort children, partners, etc. who don’t share the sex of the guardian
    * they’re harder to maintain (they have to do a call check and wait when it’s occupied if it’s the one for the other gender)

  • Chris

    What’s with the trans-bashing? Shame.

  • Blah

    I’d veto the bill. Not anything against trans people but you KNOW that there will be some rapist, perv, etc who will abuse it. Bathrooms should be kept separate and a third bathroom for intersex and trans people should be constructed.

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    @Blah: This is like people claiming to be against gay rights because pedophiles exist. Before your say it isn’t exactly the same, the point is that it is analogy about the fear baiting that bares no relationship to the actual right being sought. Just because some rapist will do “x” does not address the right of trans gender people who need this law. It changes the subject to frighten the ignorant. For example, like rapists need this law to act on being rapists.

  • delurker again

    @Blah: any what is stopping them from doing it right now? any man can sneak into a ladies’ room, hide and attack.

    oh btw, my first comment was referring to the transphobia with in the gay community (i swear we need to work on all the -isms and -phobias within out community before we demand progress), which many of the comments here painfully evidence.

  • Jadis

    @Daniel: yeah, and faggots are notorious for not giving two shits about anything but themselves. Why should my tax money pay for HIV research? I don’t have HIV, after all.

  • Blah

    It’s a little different. Women need a safe space- especially since women are way more likely to be victims of rape and other forms of sexual abuse- as children and adults. Enacting this law violates what should be a safe space for them and heightens the chance that they will be preyed on by non-trans people.

    It’s not a fear tactic. I don’t think trans people are going to be to blame, I just think that it’s a slippery slope and it’ll open up doors for other things. A third bathroom for intersex and trans citizens is such a better choice because it also protects them from violence they will most definitely encounter when they enter whatever bathroom they choose to- whether it is a law or not. I believe they need a safe space as well. Shrug.

  • tjr101

    Wow, never thought I’d see a Republican that I wouldn’t mind voting for but I don’t live in MA.

    Anyway, there’s a lot of prejudice within the LGBT community itself. For such a small community who face discrimination daily in America it’s quite a shame. It’s like we’re a group of rats in the sewer fighting each other for the crumbs of society. We shouldn’t tolerate discrimination of law abiding citizens just because they’re diffferent. If we do then whats the difference between us and the average hetero gay basher.

  • Jadis

    @Blah: You do realize that you’ve just used precisely the same argument that the socons use to keep you from marrying? After all, they say, what is to stop people marrying cats and elephants and slime molds? “Slippery slope” is a logical FALLACY, not something you can actually make an argument around.

    Do you really think there will be het men in wigs lurking in bathrooms? That they will see the new law on the news and go “wahey, time for a rape spree?” In fact, how is this any different from a fear of gay men raping boys in the bathroom?

    I’m no rapist, but if I were I think I would like to be inconspicuous.

    A third bathroom would out us every single time we used one of them. That makes them unacceptably dangerous for us.

    The solution is for people to get the fuck over their ludicrous Victorian prudishness and have no gender segregation in bathrooms at all. But that will never happen as long as people are screaming “oh, won’t somebody PLEEASE think about the CHILDREN!!”

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    @Blah: Do you think by saying something is not a fear tactic that changes the nature of what you said? Indeed, it is a fear tactic, and it is one based on several false premises as well as a logical fallacy. That’s the nature of emotions based arguments. Most of the time, those making it are not going to admit that they are arguing based on manipulating emotions. I would have been shocked if you did admit you were were pushing fear.

  • Hyhybt

    Sounds good to me: let anyone use any bathroom. In doing so, of course, the law would also have to require that stall doors and wall panels fit up against their supporting posts, which would benefit everybody (one restaurant near here which I otherwise like very much has most of an inch there; what’s the point of even having a door then? You can’t *not* see in/out). Not to mention being able to use the other restroom when one is full.

    But I’d like to ask one thing: why are so many people against the transgendered anyway? Even if they’re right, and they’re just mentally confused, unbalanced, whatever, and can only ever be mutilated versions of the sex they were born as instead of changing (*this is not my view: I did say “even if”*), what’s the problem? Even if all of that is true, what makes it their business what’s under some guy/gal’s skirt? As for restrooms, there’s nothing stopping people from misusing the wrong one in all the ways they’re using to drum up fear *now*.

  • Jadis

    Hyhybt: Actually, they do this in many parts of Europe. Each stall is a little room with a big heavy glulam door, and concrete walls no less. No hearing and smelling the next person’s explosive diarrhea. I’ve never had such luxury.

    Businesses here use those crappy pressed sheet metal stalls that rust around the bottom because they’re cheap and somewhat easier to clean. People just don’t realize that there’s any other way to build a public toilet.

    But I’ve seen a better way…

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