Massachusetts Democrats are attempting to put Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., in a tough spot over not participating in a supportive video aimed at LGBT youths. Looking to soften up Brown before his reelection bid next year, local Democrats held a conference call this afternoon.
Democrats see Brown's decision not to appear in the "It Gets Better," coupled with his opposition to same-sex marriage in the nation's first state to legalize the practice, as a way to peel off independents.
The state's most prominent gay Republican defended Brown, a former state Senate colleague, pointing to Brown's vote to repeal the military's ban on openly gay service.
"On the major issue this year that came up for gays and lesbians, Scott really helped make a big difference," said Richard Tisei, the GOP's lieutenant governor nominee last year. "His support was really important."
Tisei told National Journal he had limited knowledge of the video and Brown's decision, and suggested a scheduling conflict had prevented the senator from participating.
"I don't know what his scheduling situation's like," Tisei said Thursday afternoon. "If he wasn't able to schedule something, I give him more than the benefit of the doubt."
On the conference call, state Rep. Carl Sciortino, who is openly gay, noted Brown's vote against the creation of a commission on suicide prevention and bullying of LGBT youth.
"Sen. Brown's absence in our congressional delegation's video sends a message that he supports LGBT youth getting bullied," Sciortino said.
It's not Brown's first run-in with gay teens. In 2007, after students at King Philip Regional High School had attacked Brown and his daughter Ayla on Facebook over his opposition to gay marriage, Brown went to the school and called out the students, reading some of the off-color statements they had posted.