As young Democrats, we are proud of the progressive platform of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the leadership our Commonwealth has shown on a range of issues. That leadership is the result of the work of Democratic activists and elected officials across the state. Unfortunately, time and time again, we have seen Representative Colleen Garry aligning with House Republicans against core Democratic priorities and in support of policies that will move our Commonwealth backward. As an organization, we usually do not comment on candidates in primaries; however, due to extraordinary circumstances, we felt compelled to make a statement.
As Democrats, we stand firmly in support of LGBTQIA+ rights and are proud of Massachusetts’s true leadership in the fight for equality. In contrast, Representative Garry made public comments on Facebook yesterday targeting the LGBTQIA+ community. That these comments were made during Pride month, a time to celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community is even more offensive. These disgusting comments are backed by an equally homophobic and transphobic voting record, which includes legislation she filed to prevent trans or genderqueer individuals from accessing activities, facilities, or services based on their gender identity instead of their anatomical sex. During a time when a controversial and deliberately confusing ballot question threatens to roll back the progress our state has made on transgender rights, the LGBTQIA+ community needs and deserves a representative who will stand up and fight unequivocally for their human rights.
Though Representative Garry’s comments regarding LGBTQIA+ issues are the most recent example of her abandonment of the Democratic Party’s core values, there are further examples of her complete deviation from the Party’s platform.
As Democrats, we believe black lives matter, and that those who stand in support of this movement deserve to exercise their first amendment rights. By contrast, Rep. Garry filed the legislation that would make protesting on highways a felony in response to protests organized by members affiliated with the local chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement.
As Democrats, we stand firm against the xenophobia from the Trump administration and for the need for a state (and country) that embraces and respects our immigrant communities. By contrast, Rep. Garry has voted for Republican budget amendments to block local aid to Massachusetts cities and towns that have adopted ordinances or policies restricting local police from cooperating with ICE and allowing state and local law enforcement agencies to arrest and hold a person without a warrant.
These are only a few examples that illustrate a disturbing pattern: Representative Garry makes public statements and files legislation that consistently targets people based on their identities. The Democratic Party stands for supporting and uplifting people from marginalized communities, not targeting them with discriminatory bills and hateful language.
Colleen Garry is running in a contested primary on September 4, 2018. We encourage Democrats in her district to carefully evaluate the candidates this fall accordingly.