Letter: Senator Frantz Does Not Represent LGBTQ Community

Letter to the editor from Hale McSharry, Lane Bhutani, Samuel Prose, Santiago MacLean, Maya Edward, Tamara Parker, Nichola Samponaro, Claudino Weber, Janis Stahlhut

Dear Editor:

Every legislator is elected to represent everyone in his or her district. When it comes to the LGBTQ community, Scott Frantz has been nothing short of a disappointment.

When given the opportunity to do what is fair and right for every citizen in the State, Scott Frantz has consistently voted against expanding rights and equality to every one of his constituents.

In October 2008, Connecticut’s highest court handed down a landmark decision recognizing same sex marriage as a right guaranteed under the State Constitution. In 2009, our Legislature took up SB 899 to align the state’s laws with the court’s ruling. The bill was both a procedural necessity and a strong symbolic statement in support of marriage equality and equal protections for same sex couples before the law. The bill ensured that gay and lesbian couples have the rights and legal protections to own property jointly, file taxes, and have children, without being subjected to the onerous legal machinations required under civil unions. Scott Frantz voted against that bill.

When he was sworn in, Scott Frantz took an oath to uphold the State Constitution. His voting record on SB 899 violated that oath and demonstrated a blatant disrespect for the Court’s sole authority to interpret the Constitution.

In 2011, Senator Frantz opposed a bill protecting transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment, securing a loan, education at all levels, and more. Again, he demonstrated a disregard for fair and equal treatment of all Connecticut residents in voting no on SB 6599 “AN ACT CONCERNING DISCRIMINATION,” an act to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression.

It should come as no surprise that Senator Frantz then blocked the appointment of Andrew McDonald to Supreme Court Chief Justice. By all accounts, Justice McDonald is a highly qualified judge of impeccable character whose appointment as Supreme Court Chief Justice would have made history in Connecticut and the nation. But more important than putting our state at the forefront of the nation, Senator Frantz and his colleagues deprived our state’s highest court of a great legal mind. And, not only did Senator Frantz vote no, he did not have the respect, courtesy or courage to meet with Justice McDonald, a former Senate colleague, in advance of casting his vote.

Representation matters. Connecticut would have been the first state in the nation to appoint a member of the LGBTQ community to lead its highest court. Connecticut’s lawmakers could have made strong statements for the rights of LGBTQ citizens. For members of a community that has long been faced with discrimination, this appointment would have sent an important and clear message of respect, equality, and support.

Senator Frantz’s voting record on LGBTQ issues is shameful and hurtful. Given his past performance, we cannot expect or hope that his position on issues of importance to the LGBTQ community will change in the future.

With our rights under attack in Washington and the very real prospect that the Republicans will take control of the State Senate, win more seats in the House or capture the governor’s office, we cannot remain silent in our opposition to his candidacy. Senator Frantz does not represent all of his constituents.

We, and hopefully those who share our belief in equality for all of our state’s citizens, will not be voting for him on November 6th. We support Alex Bergstein for State Senate, 36th District.

Hale McSharry, Riverside

Lane Bhutani, Greenwich

Samuel Prose, Greenwich

Santiago MacLean, Riverside

Maya Edward, Cos Cob

Tamara Parker, Stamford

Nichola Samponaro, Stamford

Claudino Weber, Stamford

Janis Stahlhut, Old Greenwich

Note: The deadline for letters in support of candidates in the November 6, 2018 election is Monday, October 29, 2018.

Not all letters will be published. Instead we will select a sampling of letters.