REBECCA SPENSE: The most extraordinary victory of all was our lobbying and organizing to push the Gay and Lesbian Student’s rights bill into law. The state-wide student advisory council had filed the bill for the past three years. 500 gay and straight students rallied at the Massachusetts State House on October 13th. One week later 150 of us personally lobbied our state legislators..
Student Rights Bill Rally
October 13, 1993
DAVID LAFONTAINE: It took 17 years to pass the gay rights bill in Massachusetts… 17 years… That’s how old some of you are probably. 17 years while violence and hatred continued. Are you willing to pass the student rights bill for 17 years?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 16 years?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 15 years?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 13?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 12?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 11?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 10?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 9?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: How about 8?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 7?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 6?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 5?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 4?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 3?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 2?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: 1?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: When do you want this bill to pass?
DAVID LAFONTAINE: We have waited too long.
16 year old youth
CHRIS HANNON: Every day, I didn’t hear the word, “faggot” once or twice, I heard it said dozens of times. And with the increase of verbal harassment, there was an increase of physical attacks. I was pushed, kicked and spit on like some vile piece of trash. I brought this to the attention of my guidance counselor and I also at the same time came out to her. Her response was, “You’re too young to be gay.”
I asked her, “What did that matter? I’m still getting harassed every day”.
When I asked her what she was going to do about it, I remember her exact words were, “Couldn’t act you act a little less — you know… a little less gay?”
When I asked her what she going to
Marsian De Lellis,
17 year old youth
MARSIAN DE LELLIS: One day at practice, when the coaches were away or not looking, everyone on the team surrounded me. They shouted different names at me, including anti-gay epithets such as “Faggot,” and “Homo,” threw things at me, including dog droppings and spit on me until my shirt was soaking wet. I wasn’t out and I didn’t even know that I was gay at the time, but the other team members identified me as gay, because I did not fit in with them.
Brookline High School Student
The incorporation of a gay rights amendment into Brookline High School’s constitution has made Brookline a place where I can safely direct my energy toward my education, secure in the knowledge that my teachers support me and that the administration will back me up if ever I am discriminated against. It is clear that learning is impossible for a student is torment by his or her peers, because the administration refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem. It is absolutely imperative that we pass this bill. It is not a matter of special rights or privileges. It is a matter of gay students demanding our right to a decent education.
Lietenant Governor Paul Cellucci
LT GOV. PAUL CELLUCCI: The testimony that Chris and [Marsian] just gave to us. — The simple fact is that kind of hate has no place in our schools and it has no place in our state.
BYRON RUSHING: This bill will not give gay and lesbian students rights. Gay and lesbian students in this state already have rights. You have those rights not because you’re gay. You have those rights not because you’re lesbian. You have those rights because you are human beings!