MassEquality PAC

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MassEquality PAC Announces Next Round of Electoral Endorsements

BOSTON ─ July 22, 2014 ─ The MassEquality PAC has endorsed four more candidates this electoral season. In particular, the PAC will be endorsing in a county-wide race, a deviation from past endorsements, which have typically involved legislative or statewide offices.

The board voted to endorse:

Shawn Allyn, Hampden County District Attorney
Ken Gordon, Representative for the 21st Middlesex District (incumbent)
Mary Keefe, Representative for the 15th Worcester District (incumbent)
Matthew Terry, Representative for the 5th Barnstable District

“As with all of our endorsed candidates, these four leaders are strong supporters of LGBTQ equality,” said Kara Coredini, executive director of MassEquality. “With so many issues still facing our community, from nondiscrimination protections for transgender people to homeless youth to HIV/AIDS education and treatment, we know that these candidates will be champions for LGBTQ equality and fairness.”

For the first time in recent history, MassEquality has endorsed a county-wide candidate, Shawn Allyn, for Hampden County District Attorney.  Though the MassEquality PAC prioritizes state legislative races, the PAC also considers races where it may be able to have a strategic impact. If elected, Shawn would be the first openly gay male DA in the country. But more importantly, the Office of District Attorney is important to the LGBTQ community because of the role it plays in investigating and prosecuting hate crimes as well as in training law enforcement to ensure that all suspects, including those that are LGBTQ, are treated with dignity and respect. Shawn’s experience within the Hampden County criminal justice system and his background as a social worker providing services for victims of crime, affords him a unique perspective that will be critical for this position.

For more information about the MassEquality PAC, its endorsement process and endorsements, visit click here.

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The MassEquality PAC stands with, develops, and elects candidates who outspokenly champion justice and equality for all LGBTQ people across Massachusetts. Since 2004, the PAC has consistently researched, interviewed and endorsed pro-equality candidates for both state and local offices. The six-member board works tirelessly to ensure that these candidates have the platforms to advocate for equality for all members of the LGBTQ community.


Ken Gordon (21st Middlesex)

Ken Gordon — 21st Middlesex (D)

KenGordonA trial attorney by training, Ken Gordon spent over two decades working as a lawyer before being elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2012. Ken is a graduate of Northeastern University and Suffolk University Law School. In 2000, Ken opened his own firm to focus on workplace discrimination and harassment law. A strong supporter and advocate for LGBTQ concerns, Ken co-sponsored legislation to increase protection against bullying in schools and promises to continue his efforts on behalf of the LGBTQ community into future terms. He is committed to remaining a champion for the LGBTQ community, and MassEquality PAC is proud to endorse Ken Gordon in his efforts to continue representing the 21st Middlesex District at the State House.


Matthew Terry (5th Barnstable)

MatthewTerryMatthew Terry — 5th Barnstable (D)

Born and raised in Sandwich, Matt attended Yale University and Boston College Law School. He spent nine years in Boston working for two of the city’s top law firms before relocating his legal practice back home to Cape Cod.  Matt is a member of the Finance Committee for the Town of Sandwich.  In November 2013, he was appointed by Governor Patrick to fill the Cape Cod and the Islands seat on the statewide Economic Assistance Coordinating Council.  He is supportive of all of MassEquality’s policy priorities and promises to be a champion for the LGBT community if elected. MassEquality PAC is excited to endorse Matthew Terry to represent the 5th Barnstable District.


Mary Keefe (15th Worcester)

MaryKeefeMary Keefe — 15th Worcester (D)

A lifelong resident of Massachusetts, Mary Keefe boasts a strong résumé filled with neighborhood engagement and community involvement. Prior to her election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2012, Mary spent 12 years as the Executive Director of the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Network Center (PSNNC), a grassroots resident-led organization that works on issues surrounding working families, businesses, and other institutions in the Piedmont area of the 15th Worcester District. Mary plans to continue advocating for LGBTQ causes as a legislator — a task she began by cosponsoring funding for unaccompanied homeless youth during her first term. Mary will further her efforts on behalf of the LGBTQ community as a champion for our cause, and the MassEquality PAC is pleased to endorse her bid to be re-elected as the state representative for the 15th Worcester District.


Shawn Allyn (Hampden County District Attorney)

Shawn Allyn — Hampden County District AttorneyShawnAllyn

Shawn Allyn understands Hampden County because he is a product of Hampden County.  As an attorney and a social worker, Shawn has  worked for two decades within the Hampden County criminal justice system and has advocated for victims of crime and abuse. He is committed to raising the visibility of hate crimes prosecutions and plans to be a vocal advocate on improving school climates and preventing bullying. Shawn also plans to ensure that LGBT people feel comfortable reaching out to law enforcement.  If elected, Shawn would be the first openly gay male District Attorney in the nation.


Martha Monday (July 14)

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley has played a pivotal role in advocating for the rights of LGBTQ people across Massachusetts. Her intellect, compassion, and decisiveness have contributed towards the LGBTQ community making several strides on a range of issues. Over the course of the next few weeks, we aim to show you why the Martha Movement is taking off and what we’re doing to make sure that she’s elected as our next Governor in November! Tune in every Monday afternoon for a new post on Martha’s progressive values and the amazing work she’s done to support the LGBTQ community!

Martha on Hate Crimes

Coakley_BL_HateCrimesOur country has a long history of discrimination against many groups of people. The LGBTQ community has not been immune from the hatred and bigotry many Americans have expressed towards differences in sexual orientation and gender identity.

In Massachusetts, thankfully, there is legislation that protects the LGBTQ community from hate crimes and as attorney general, Martha Coakley has consistently addressed issues of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Martha finds harassment, bullying, and intimidation against members of the LGBTQ community intolerable and has used her authority as attorney general to seek justice for the survivors of hate crimes.

But it doesn’t stop there. As Governor, Martha guarantees that state employees will receive cultural competency training to aid the survivors of hate crimes and connect them with the services they need. She has a comprehensive plan to ensure that every LGBTQ person in the Commonwealth has access to services that address the needs of our community. Every state office in the Commonwealth will gather data on the services that are being utilized by the LGBTQ community and how those services can be enhanced to be more inclusive.

There are 56 days left until the Primary on September 9! Martha needs us now more than ever to get active. Click here to learn how you can support Martha!


Martha Monday (July 7, 2014)

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley has played a pivotal role in advocating for the rights of LGBTQ people across Massachusetts. Her intellect, compassion, and decisiveness have contributed towards the LGBTQ community making several strides on a range of issues. Over the course of the next few weeks, we aim to show you why the Martha Movement is taking off and what we’re doing to make sure that she’s elected as our next Governor in November! Tune in every Monday afternoon for a new post on Martha’s progressive values and the amazing work she’s done to support the LGBTQ community!

Martha on Domestic Violence

MarthaCoakley_Speaking

Martha Coakley, never the one to shy away from doing what’s right, has been an advocate for survivors of domestic violence going back to her days as the Middlesex County District Attorney. With a disproportionate amount of domestic violence incidents in Massachusetts, Martha has made it her priority to address this epidemic and defend those who cannot speak up for themselves due to embarrassment, fear of retaliation, or lack of resources.

In April of this year, Attorney General Coakley and House Speaker Robert DeLeo unveiled new legislation to combat domestic violence in the Commonwealth. The new bill re-defines the term “domestic violence” more specifically, provides more stringent punishments for repeat offenders and better training for lawyers, judges and law enforcement officials on intimate partner violence and addressing the needs of its survivors. The legislation will increase the financial penalties for domestic violence with the funds going towards assistance programs for survivors. Those same assistance programs will also be evaluated by a new independent team of state employees and will work with these providers to develop domestic violence prevention programs and standards. Judges will be given access to the records of repeat offenders to ascertain patterns of violence and so as to address the perpetrators’ behavior accordingly.

The bill was a victory for domestic violence advocates and the programs that support victims. Cracking down on the patterns of violence that happen in our homes and communities has been a highlight of Martha Coakley’s career and because of that passion, we know that when elected Governor, she will continue the work of addressing this issue, not just for heterosexual couples, but couples in the LGBTQ community as well!

To learn more about Martha, click here.

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