Paul Asher-Best, the selectman from Truro who had the guts to call into question the chief of rescue operations Leo Childs’s ability to provide equal care to gay and lesbian members of the community, when he discovered Childs had signed the anti-gay marriage petition is back in the news. For a full story look to the Cape Codder, Friday, May 26th reported by Matthew Belson.
It seems that there was a review of Child's alleged bias by local fire chiefs and none was found. Evidently, these local chiefs do not consider signing a petition to change our state constitution to make it legal to discriminate against a group law abiding, tax-paying citizens of the Commonwealth a "bias." But then again, if the Truro/Provincetown Representative, Shirley Gomes, does not understand the meaning of equality, then why should we expect lay people to?
Rep. Gomes voted for last year's amendment to the Constitution which would have dis-allowed same-sex marriage but given gays and lesbians civil unions. In her quote to the Cape Codder, when asked how she intends to vote on the July 12th amendment, Gomes says, "I am waiting for input from the Judicial Supreme Court." "One of the reasons I favored the vote before [for the first amendment] was that it granted equal rights under the law to every individual."
Oh does it now??? Since the Honorable Representative listens to the SJC on matters of a Constitutional nature, I am sure she remembers what these Justices said about the granting of civil unions to same-sex couples when asked for an advisory opinion by Ms. Gomes' very own legislature. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said:
"The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal," The bill that would allow for civil unions, but falls short of marriage, makes for "unconstitutional, inferior, and discriminatory status for same-sex couples." see story
Now getting back to Selectman Paul Asher-Best... As I said before, Mr. Asher-Best did not "fire Paul Childs." Mr. Childs was unanimously voted down for re-appointment to the Board of Firemen for a variety of reasons. Anyone who pays attention to local town boards knows that often these votes are arbitrary as was the case in Truro. However, the reason why this story has gotten so much press is for the simple reason that Selectman Asher-Best was willing to stand up for a group of residents of the town of Truro that are every bit as much worthy of representation as any other group--but this time this group happened to be gay.
Tom Lang, Co-Director