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The Intercept bureau chief: Massachusetts Democrats respond to homophobic slur but fail to pass meaningful reform

Ryan Grim, the D.C. bureau chief for The Intercept, on Tuesday said the use of a homophobic slur by a member of the Cambridge Democratic City Committee who had also voted in favor of the party’s pro-LGBTQ resolution represents “the equivalent of putting a pride flag on your porch, but still propping up systems that perpetuate homophobia.” 

During an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Grim explained that at a recent Massachusetts Democratic committee hearing, some members backed a resolution calling for the state’s Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford to resign following his role in advancing an investigation into Holyoke, Mass., Mayor Alex Morse (D), who is gay, after rumors spread that he had inappropriate relationships with young people. 

However, other members of the party backed another resolution that broadly committed the party to supporting the LGBTQ community, with opponents of this proposal arguing that it did not include any meaningful changes to address homophobia. 

During the meeting, party member Dan Totten voted against the broader resolution, to which fellow board member George Goverman called him the derogatory f-word slur referring to gay people. 

Grim argued that the incident “really does show that the purpose of the resolution was not to affirm support for the LGBT community, but it was what its opponents thought it was; it was to make sure that they don’t do anything that actually addresses the real homophobia.” 

Grim added that Totten after the meeting explained, “We can’t on the one hand fail to take responsibility for the homophobia that we could have addressed in the original resolution, while also celebrating ourselves for condemning this word. It's just the equivalent of putting a pride flag on your porch, but still propping up systems that perpetuate homophobia.” 

Watch part of Grim’s interview above.