The Boston Herald, 10/14/93

On October 14, 1993 The Boston Herald covered a rally I helped to organize in support of  The Gay and Lesbian Student Rights Bill at the Massachusetts State House.

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The low point of [Marsian] De lellis’ middle school career came when his soccer mates threw dog feces and spit on him “until my shirt was soaking wet.”

He didn’t know he was gay, but he knew he didn’t fit in. Eventually, his peer figured that out too. What followed was physical and verbal abuse.

“If these were racial slurs, I’m sure students would be expelled, school would be ended, we’d  probably hear it on the six o’clock news and we’d have an assembly the next day,” De Lellis told about 300 straight and gay teens at a State House rally yesterday.

Current law prohibits discrimination in schools on the basis of race, religion, sex, and national origin. The measure – co-sponsored by Rep. Byron Rushing (D-Boston) and Sen. Robert Havern (D-Arlington) – would add sexual orientation to the law.

De Lellis, 17, served on the Massachusetts Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Civil Right’s student advisory council, which helped draw up the bill.

Schools would be expected to end harassment against gays and punish harassers, said coalition director, La Fontaine to head a first-in-the-nation commission studying gay youth issues, has promised to sign the bill, which passed the House October 4 and is now in the Senate. – AP