Mass. GOP choses gay Lt. Gov. candidate

Mon. April 19, 2010 12:00 AM by News Staff

state sen. richard tisei (r)

Republican party leaders in Massachusetts have chosen an openly gay state senator to run for lieutenant governor.

State Sen. Richard Tisei will campaign along with gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker. They are facing Democratic incumbent Gov. Deval Patrick and independent Timothy Cahill.

Tisei trounced his opponent at the GOP state convention Saturday, winning 89% of the vote.

Baker supports gay marriage, but he does not support a bill cosponsored by Tisei which would protect transgendered people from discrimination in housing, employment and public areas like bathrooms. Opponents call it "the bathroom bill" and claim it would allow sex offenders to lurk in public restrooms, endangering the safety of women and children.

"I think they're trying to scare people into opposing the bill and I don't think it's really an issue," Tisei said last summer. "I know it's been dubbed the 'bathroom bill,' but this is really a bill to treat people equally and fairly under the law."