Mayor issues stern letter about homophobia in Somerville

somerville mayor joe joseph curtatone
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/METRO

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone is publicly scolding the persons who used homophobic slurs to describe the city’s first openly gay alderman. 

In an open letter to the public that was dated Tuesday, Curtatone said the official, whom he did not name, is a friend of his and that the offensive remarks have no place in Somerville. (The full letter can be read below.)

“In light of this information, let me renew my stance on this and any other derogatory remarks against human beings in ours and another other community: This kind of abusive behavior has no place in our city – or any other,” Curtatone wrote in the letter. “Not only do I personally condemn all anti-gay slurs and insults, the City of Somerville has an ordinance on the books that proudly informs every resident and guest of our city that we stand in solidarity with all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as well as all residents of any gender, age or ethnicity.”

Curtatone’s letter refers to comments made against recently-appointed Alderman Courtney O’Keefe. She was appointed to the board April 25.

O’Keefe told Metro that there were two comments made against her sexuality, including one person who called her the “dyke candidate.” According to the Somerville Journal, a columnist for the paper was singled out by Alderman Bob Trane for allegedly berating O’Keefe after a meeting. The columnist told the Journal he e-mailed O’Keefe a few hours after their conversation and apologized.

She said the ignorant comments were “disheartening,” but they didn’t change her opinion about serving on the Board of Alderman or running for election in November.

“It doesn’t make me want to do this any less. It makes me want to do this more,” she told Metro. “I’ve been out for 15 years and never had anyone say anything about my sexual orientation until now. It’s that typical thing; you become a public official and they nit pick everything about you.

“I’m from Somerville. They think that dyke candidate … is going to rattle my cage? It’s going to take a little more than that,” she said.

O’Keefe said she read Curtatone’s letter and never had anyone stick up for her the way he did. She said it was emotional to read.

“He really put himself out there and not only supported me, but every gay, lesbian, transgender person, anybody who is different. It doesn’t even have to be a gay thing. It’s not even a gay thing. It’s about anyone who is different,” she said.

Cutratone’s full letter can be read below:

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…