After winning a special election in 2010 to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) Senate term, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is seeking a full term this November. Unlike his challenger, pro-LGBT Democrat Elizabeth Warren, Brown has opposed the LGBT community on several major issues.
1. Brown actively worked to repeal marriage equality in Massachusetts and in the District of Columbia. Announcing “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Brown ran for the Massachusetts state senate in 2004 promising to back a state constitutional amendment to take away the civil marriage rights for same-sex couples that had been granted by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. He refused to explain his opposition to marriage equality, saying only “It’s just a personal belief, based on my religious upbringing. It’s just my feeling.” In the state senate, he repeatedly voted for anti-LGBT marriage constitutional amendments. In the U.S. Senate, Brown voted to suspend same-sex marriages in DC pending a city-wide referendum. As recently as last year, Brown’s campaign site reaffirmed his belief that “marriage is between a man and a woman.”
2.Brown has opposed efforts to allow legally married same-sex couples in his own state to be recognized federally.Though he now claims that same-sex marriage in Massachusetts is “settled law” and says this issue should be decided on a state-by-state basis, he has opposed efforts to extend federal recognition to his own constituents’ legal unions. When the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend theunconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA) in court, Browncomplained,“We can’t have presidents deciding what laws are constitutional and what laws are not.” In 2011, a Brown aidetold Bloombergthat the Senator still supports the DOMA, though a2012 letter from Brown to a constituentcarefully avoids expressing any position on the law.
3. Brown stood with Mitt Romney to preserve an anti-miscegenation law used to discriminate against LGBT couples. He was one of just three Senators to oppose repeal of a 1913 anti-interracial marriage law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney used to prevent out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying in Massachusetts.
4. Brown does not support a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.In the111th and 112th Congresses, Brown refused to sign onto a bill to protect LGBT Americans from employment discrimination. Pam’s House Blend reported last September that Brown told a voter he opposed a federal non-discrimination law, saying “the states should take care of it, I believe in states’ rights.”
6. Brown attacked same-sex parents as “not normal.” In 2001, he told the Boston Globe it was “not normal” for two women to have children. His comments — focused at then-State Sen. Cheryl Jacques and her domestic partner Jennifer Chrisler — also belittled Jacques’ “alleged family responsibilities.” While he later backed off of what he called a “wrong choice of a word that is probably going to crucify me,” Brown has to this day never directly apologized to Jacques and Chrisler.
8. Brown was the lone State Senator to stand with Mitt Romney in opposition to funding for gay and lesbian youth services.
. Brown co-sponsored a bill to allow parental notification and opt-opt from any school discussion of “alternative sexual behavior.” He backed a proposed “Parents Rights” Bill to require parental consent for schools to mention “alternative sexual behavior” in the classroom.