Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award given by the gay political group Log Cabin Republicans during a ceremony Thursday, December 11, in Boston. State senator Jo Ann Sprague received the Log Cabin Spirit of Lincoln Award that night as well. "It is appropriate that a remarkable leader like Bill Weld should receive our first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award," said Log Cabin executive director Patrick Guerriero. "Bill Weld stood for equality in our party early on in his political career, and he has never wavered. Weld was one of the nation's breakthrough governors of either political party to stand up for gay and lesbian citizens even when poll numbers would have directed otherwise."
Shortly after taking office in 1990, Weld signed an executive order providing domestic-partner benefits for gay and lesbian state workers. He also signed hate-crimes legislation and expanded antidiscrimination laws to protect gay people. Ten years ago this month Weld created a governor's commission on gay and lesbian youth, which was charged to reduce suicide rates among gay and lesbian youth in the commonwealth.
Speaking to the large crowd at the Union Club--including Gov. Mitt Romney, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, and former governor Jane Swift--Weld said he was "honored to be honored." He urged those in attendance to continue the Log Cabin mission of making the Republican Party more inclusive. He also said he supports the Massachusetts supreme judicial court's recent decision in favor of gay marriage, a ruling that was authored by his appointee to the court, Margaret Marshall.