Romney blocked anti-bullying guide over terms ‘transgender’ and ‘bisexual’
While he was governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney’s administration blocked the publication of a guide on preventing bullying in public schools because it included the words “transgender” and “bisexual,” according to a new report.
Emails obtained by The Boston Globe showed that a Romney official in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which was the primary sponsor of the guide, effectively prevented the document from being published.
“Because this is using the terms ‘bisexual’ and ‘transgendered,’ DPH’s name may not be used in this publication,” then-Deputy Commissioner Alda Rego-Weathers wrote, adding that he had been in consultation with the governor’s office.
“Stifling the guide’s publication was among steps that Romney and his aides took during his last year in office to distance the Republican governor from state programs designed to specifically support gays, lesbians, and bisexual and transgender people,” according to the Globe.
The 120-page guide (PDF) was eventually printed with the terms “transgender” and “bisexual” during Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick’s first term after Romney left office.
“Romney put his own political interests ahead of the safety of vulnerable youth,” LGBT rights advocate Don Gorton explained.
But Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, defended Romney for blocking programs that were pushing a “radical agenda.”
“They were trying to indoctrinate people on the issue of sexual preference,” Mineau insisted to the Globe. “Romney did the right thing by finally pushing back.”
A recent Washington Post report revealed that Romney may have himself bullied a gay student in 1965.
Matthew Friedemann, who described himself as a “close” friend when Romney attended the prestigious Cranbrook School in 1965, told the Post that the future Massachusetts governor picked on John Lauber, “a soft-spoken” gay student, for his long bleached-blonde hair.
“Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair,” the Post‘s Jason Horowitz wrote. “Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.”
Photo: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com.