Massachusetts lawmakers are criticizing Sen. Scott Brown, the one Republican in the state’s Congressional delegation, for refusing to take part in an anti-bullying video aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.
This week, his 11 colleagues, all Democrats, released a video they filmed for the “It Gets Better” campaign, a series of supportive video messages posted online for young people who may be targeted for bullying because of their sexual orientation. The campaign was started in September 2010 by sex columnist and gay-rights activist Dan Savage.
Brown was absent from the video, having declined to appear, the Associated Press reports. “Sen. Brown's absence in our congressional delegation's video sends a message that he supports kids being bullied or harassed," Rep. Carl Sciortino (D-Medford) said in a press call hosted by the Massachusetts Democratic Party on Thursday.
(Massachusetts Congressional Delegation "It Gets Better" video)
Brown’s office denied that he supports violence against the LGBT community. “Scott Brown has a strong record at the state and federal level against bullying and believes that all people regardless of sexual orientation should be treated with dignity and respect,” spokesman Colin Reed said. “His main focus right now is on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track.”
Brown is against gay marriage, and when he was a state senator, he voted to uphold Gov. Mitt Romney's veto of a Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. However, he recently supported the repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy banning gay men and lesbians from openly serving as soldiers, the Boston Globe reports.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee also defended Brown, dismissing video campaign founder Savage as having “a long history of lewd, violent and anti-Christian rhetoric,” according to the Huffington Post.
Since the campaign launched in September 2010, hundreds of celebrities, politicians and organizations have filmed “It Gets Better” messages, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Boston Red Sox. Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron released a video last November. Not one elected Republican official in the U.S. has appeared in the campaign.