Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baker's Hypocrisy Continues

Lynne beat me to it, but I've been meaning to blog today about Charlie Baker's most brazen form of hypocrisy yet. From a MassEquality email:
At the Massachusetts Republican Convention on Saturday, April 17, gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker came out in opposition to H. 1728/S. 1687 “An Act Relative to Gender Identity and Expression,” (also known as the Transgender Civil Rights Bill), which would outlaw employment discrimination against transgender people. As CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, however, Baker presided over a company that has for many years had a non-discrimination policy that protects applicants and employees on the basis of their gender identity.

In addition to stating his opposition to the Transgender Civil Rights Bill to reporters at the convention, his campaign circulated a flyer to convention delegates stating that Baker opposed “the Bathroom Bill,” -- the misleading name opponents of the bill use -- and would veto it if elected.
The irony is rich, given that Harvard Pilgrim -- to its credit -- has one of the state's strongest anti-discrimination policies, including for transgender people.
“Furthermore, Baker’s use of the term ‘Bathroom Bill’ in the flyer he distributed to convention delegates was a shameful attempt to use this badly-needed legislation to pander for delegate votes,” said Edmondson. “As the head of a company that gave workers a level playing field, Charlie Baker knows full well that protecting transgender people from discrimination has nothing to do with bathrooms and everything to do with attracting a skilled and diverse workforce.”

“This is so disappointing. So many in our community had such high hopes for this candidate,” said Executive Director Scott Gortikov. “I fear this is the Romney-fication of Charlie Baker. It’s stunning to me that he would borrow from the playbook of the radical social conservatives and condone this language of marginalization.”
My questions for Charlie Baker:

1) Who do you think you're kidding? You can try to rabidly flip-flop, appeasing the wingnut base, but you're just not going to be taken seriously by anyone with at least half a brain.

2) More importantly, why did you see fit to institute a policy of protections for transgender people in your workforce, as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim, but you wouldn't be willing to sign those very same protections for the transgender community across the state? Are they somehow less worthy than the transgender people who work at Harvard-Pilgrim?

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