On the patio of a Dorchester restaurant one recent day, nine candidates for mayor stood in near unanimity, pledging their allegiance to the rainbow flag. One said he would bring the Gay Games to Boston. Another spoke of his experience growing up with a lesbian mother.
DotOut, the gay rights group hosting the forum, didn't even bother with an endorsement vote. With so many supportive candidates facing the packed crowd, it would be impossible for one candidate to win a majority vote, said an organizer.
In a city known for its liberal leanings and as the birthplace of gay marriage, the candidates for mayor are outspokenly, proactively, and almost universally supportive of gay issues. Candidates aren’t distinguishing themselves on their support for gay marriage; instead, they’re competing over who has been the most demonstrative, waged the most unlikely battle, or been a friend the longest to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community.
“You want to run for mayor of the city of Boston, you have to be pro-GLBT,” said Arline Isaacson, cochair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus. “It’s only a matter of two things — the degree to which you are pro-GLBT and, very importantly, what’s your track record? In this area, there are a couple of people who have top-notch track records.”
Isaacson, who is torn between competing loyalties to three candidates, is among the activists who are reluctant to make an endorsement. Bay Windows, New England’s largest publication targeted at gay readership, hasn’t yet decided whether to weigh in, and MassEquality, a group that fought for gay marriage, is waiting out the preliminary election. Gay and lesbian residents — an active, sought-after voting bloc in Boston — face an embarrassment of riches in the race.
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