You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.


Obituary misses a nasty chapter in speaker’s life

Growing up in Peabody, I know how good Tom McGee was to his native Lynn and the North Shore in general. But I was a bit taken aback by the obituary published in the Jan. 1 Globe that made him appear saintly (“Thomas McGee, 88, House speaker for longest period in state history”). For those of us who remember the lengthy battle to have sexual orientation nondiscrimination legislation passed in Massachusetts, we can’t forget how McGee nastily opposed any effort to legislate equal rights for the Commonwealth’s gay and lesbian citizens.

I and others who remember his loud, scurrilous, mocking, and homophobic rants against these measures (and against those who supported them) in the waning months of his career as speaker of the House would wonder whether the obituary was about the same person.

Continue reading below

Although I generally subscribe to the idea that one should not speak ill of the dead, there is an exception in my book for public figures such as McGee. I believe we all benefit by being reminded of the full person, and of how society and what is thought of as acceptable can change over time — in this case, for the better.

Donald Vaughan


Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of