The paper has been calling out the GOP senator, and former Cosmo nude cover guy, for his refusal to speak to it or any other LGBT media outlet since his stunning election last year.
Each week the New England weekly paper has been running a box on its front page counting down Brown’s silence and asking readers to call his senate offices and demand he grant the paper an interview or accept its offer to have him write a guest opinion piece.
As detailed in the March issue of Press Pass Q, it isn’t like Brown has been so busy since being elected that he hasn’t had time to sit down with the news media. According to the piece by reporter Chuck Colbert, Brown has gabbed to outlets as varied as the Boston Globe and New York Times Magazine to 60 Minutes. (Some of which has been self-serving, as Brown just published a memoir in which he reveals a camp counselor allegedly molested him.)
Yet he can’t find at least 15 minutes to speak with the local gay paper:
Sue O’Connell, co-publisher of Boston-based Bay Windows, discussed efforts to speak with Brown, which have included numerous phone calls and e-mail correspondence, offering an invitation for a telephone conversation or a face-to-face interview. Bay Windows contacted staffers in the senator’s Boston and Washington offices.
“I have a hard time believing that someone who took ‘the people’s seat’ will not reach out to the LGBT community via Bay Windows. That’s the part I find disturbing,” O’Connell told Press Pass Q. “We had a sit-down interview with Mitt Romney [the former Republican governor]. It’s a little astonishing to me that in this day and age, this is the path Sen. Brown is taking.”
Nor is it like Brown has nothing to discuss with the paper. There are a range of LGBT specific issues gay and straight voters alike in Massachusetts presumably would be interested in hearing Brown talk about. As Colbert notes:
A long-time lawyer in the Army National Guard, Brown crossed party lines, voting to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on openly gay military service.” But his views on other issues of importance to gay constituents are largely unknown, such as his stance on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act [ENDA), the Student Non-Discrimination Act, the Uniting American Families Act and repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA).
A former state lawmaker, Brown consistently voted against marriage equality in the Legislature.
Brown’s silence, however, may have something to due with his being up for re-election next year:
Co-publisher O’Connell is a realist. “The pragmatic and practical part of me says he does not want to have any pro-gay statements in print that can be used against him by the Republicans or a Tea Party challenger,” she said.
In a state that has been in the vanguard on LGBT rights, in particular the fight for same-sex marriage, it is incomprehensible to think one of its highest-ranking political leaders thinks he can avoid talking about where he stands on the rights granted to his LGBT constituents.