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Grossman passes kidney stone during gubernatorial debate

Massachusetts Treasurer Steven Grossman.AP File/2013

There were more than a few pained expressions worn by gubernatorial candidates during Tuesday night’s forum dedicated to issues affecting Massachusetts’s LGBTQ community, mostly after Scott Lively, an anti-gay candidate running to “advance a biblical world view,” responded to questions.

But state Treasurer Steve Grossman, who is a Democrat from Newton, was actually in physical pain, said campaign spokesman Chandra Allard. Grossman was in the throes of passing a kidney stone, something often compared to the pain of childbirth, during the 90-minute debate, she said.

The forum was held by MassEquality and WGBH at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square and included eight gubernatorial candidates -- the five Democrats and three independents, all of whom showed their support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community except for Lively.


Grossman’s pain-level was a 10 on a scale of 1-to-10, Allard said, and yet he fervently answered questions on everything from transgender rights and mandatory sex education to issues facing youth and aging members of the LGBTQ community.

Grossman has suffered chronic kidney stones, getting them on and off for the last 30 years, said Allard. He woke up in pain at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, but she said he insisted on continuing with the day, which included attending GetKonnected’s Diversity Game Changer Awards ceremony after the forum ended.

Word of Grossman’s stone -- which has inspired a parody Twitter account -- spread via the micro-blogging website, as did the news that he finally passed the stone, sometime during the awards ceremony.

“I’m grateful that I made it out, but I know some of my fellow stones remain confined. We must #FreeTheStones! #mapoli,”@grossmansstone tweeted Wednesday morning.

Akilah Johnson can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @akjohnson1922.