LGBTQ Advocacy

1993-12-08-NYT-montage2b-16x9-100dpi New York Times 12/08/93 LGBTQ
New York Times, December 8, 1993, Photo AP

In the early 90’s, I was an advocate for anti-discrimination legislation protecting LGBTQ students in Massachusetts public schools.


Up until 1993, Massachusetts law protected students against discrimination in admission to public schools or access to courses and activities on the basis of:

  • race
  • creed
  • color
  • sex
  • religion
  • national origin

House Bill 3353, The Gay and Lesbian Student Rights Bill, proposed adding sexual orientation to the protected classes.

The Student Advisory Council, a statewide network of students working on educational initiatives, filed House Bill 3353. The bill had forty-one co-sponsors, with Rep. Byron Rushing (D-Boston) and Sen. Robert Havern (D-Arlington) as the chief sponsors.

In the fall of 1993, I began volunteering with The Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights as the Youth Outreach Coordinator. I worked closely with political director, David LaFontaine and Volunteer Coordinator, Bernie Gardella.

In previous years, The Coalition worked on successful efforts to pass The Gay Civil Rights Bill, The Hate Crimes Reporting Act, and the bill which led to the formation of Gov. Weld’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth in Massachusetts.

On October 13, 1993, I organized a rally with the Coalition at the Massachusetts State House. Speakers included fellow activist Chris Hannon, David LaFontaine, Lt. Gov. Paul Celucci, the bill’s cheif sponsor, Rep Byron Rushing, and myself  

photo: Rodney Curtis

Over three hundred attended the rally, which was covered by all three major local news stations, The New York Times, The Boston Herald, and The Boston Globe.

After the rally I helped to coordinate a lobby date. Groups of students from gay-straight alliances across the state lobbied their senators and representatives.

On December 6th, 1993, the bill passed through the Senate Committee’s Third Reading (often a procedural graveyard for legislation), where it was held up for over a month. 

The Gay and Lesbian Student Rights Bill was signed into law by Gov. Weld on December 10th, 1993.

Press + Media

May 8, 1995
School’s Out
October 28, 1994
September, 1994
Making History
February 3, 1994
January 3, 1994
PBS – The Group 
January 2, 1994
December 23, 1993
Bay Windows
December 16, 1993
Belmont Citizen- Herald
December 10, 1993
News at Ten 
December 10, 1993
NBC Nightly News
December 10, 1993
WBZ Channel 4 News

December 9, 1993
Bay Windows 
December 8, 1993  
New York Times
October 21, 1993
The Times
October 14, 1993
Boston Herald 
October 14, 1993
Boston Globe 
October 12, 1993
One In Ten
October 11, 1993
September 20, 1993


December 10, 2004
Harvard Club
June 3, 1994
Simmons College
May 19, 1994
Leslie College
October 13, 1993
State House 
July 12, 1993
Harvard Grad School
of Education