By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com April 05 2012 10:00 AM ET
U.S. senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who has come under fire for not supporting legislation such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, published a guest opinion column for a regional New England LGBT newspaper saying that it was not his style to “support everyone’s pet project.”
In the column for Bay Windows published Wednesday, Brown recounted his support for the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in 2010. He was one of eight Republican senators to vote for repeal.
“I spent months studying the issue, talking to service men and women, including the service chiefs, commanders on the ground as well as listening to testimony,” wrote Brown. “During the process, I kept an open mind. After completing my due diligence and hearing arguments from people on both sides of the issue, I determined that the time had come to repeal the policy.”
Brown is seeking election to a full six-year term. He won an upset special election in 2010 to succeed the late Ted Kennedy, and current polls show him tied with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in a closely watched race. Brown has received the endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans.
Senator Brown, who described himself as an “independent voice” in the column, alludes to the differences between himself and Warren on key LGBT legislation. Brown does not support high-profile agenda items such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and DOMA repeal. Last month, in an interview with the Washington Blade, Warren pledged to become a leader on DOMA repeal if elected.
“I don’t come before you with a checklist of items promising that I will be an advocate for you on each and every one of them,” wrote Brown. “My opponent has already started down that road, promising to support everyone’s pet project. That’s not the way I have ever operated.”
Instead, Brown said that he would focus on “the most important issue facing us — getting this bad economy working again and creating jobs.”
Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry in 2004, and a federal appeals court heard oral arguments in a challenge to DOMA Wednesday in Boston.