Governor Baker booed at LGBT event after not voicing support for bill

Governor Baker was booed off stage Wednesday after speaking at an LGBT event in Boston.

The event, the 10th annual Boston Spirit LGBT Executive Networking Night, was sponsored by Boston Spirit magazine. 

At the event, Baker did not voice his support for a transgender anti-discrimination bill.

"If and when the bill gets to my desk, i will make sure i talk to all parties involved before we make any decisions," Baker said at the event, before he was drowned out by supporters. 

On Thursday, Baker said he was one of the first Republican governors to support gay marriage in the country. He said he knows he did not say what they wanted to hear, and he respects that, but he does not take positions on any bill while it is before the legislature. 

"Its an emotional issue and people have strong feelings about it and I respect that," Baker said. 

Baker also said he does not believe in any kind of discrimination. 

David Zimmerman, publisher of Boston Spirit magazine, published a statement on the magazine’s website on Thursday. The statement said, in part: 

While a bit different from many of the bills down South, there is currently a bill sitting on Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s desk—the Public Accommodations Bill. The bill would offer very important protections to our transgender brothers and sisters. For months many in the LGBT community have asked the governor to step forward and comment on the pending legislation. I felt as though it was the responsibility of Boston Spirit, as a voice of the community, to try and make that happen.

While the governor did speak, briefly, about the state’s supplier diversity program, I am disappointed that he did not use this opportunity to advance the discussion regarding the Public Accommodations Bill and instead chose to speak, at length, about improvements in the state’s transit system and his accomplishments with regard to the current opioid crisis. These are both very important issues and the governor’s work on these issues is to be commended. However in the days leading up to the event it was made clear that the conversation surrounding the Public Accommodation Bill would need to be a priority in the governor’s remarks. It was also made clear that repeating the same message that has been repeated for months would not satisfy the crowd at this particular event.

Prior to the event I was firm in my conviction that inviting the governor to meet and speak to the LGBT community was the right thing to do. Looking back, I remain just as firm in my conviction that it was the right thing to do. This is a scary time for many in the LGBT community and we, along with our allies, must do all that we can to try to engage and educate our politicians. I am proud that Boston Spirit tried to do that last night and we will continue to do that moving forward.

The issue has been making waves across the country, and it took center stage last night at an LGBT networking event.

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