Democratic Governor Deval Patrick joined marchers in the Boston Pride Parade today and shortly afterward received the endorsement of a key gay rights group in his reelection bid.
"How could we not?" asked MassEquality executive director Scott Gortikov. "This governor has been with the LGBT community every step of the way."
Patrick marched in the parade with his daughter Katherine, who is openly gay and worked as an intern for MassEquality in 2008.
Republican candidate Charlie Baker also marched in the parade, with his running mate, Richard Tisei, who is gay. When asked why MassEquality chose Patrick over Baker, Gortikov responded, "Richard Tisei is not running for governor."
Gortikov said Patrick had shown his support through strong leadership, which included signing recent anti-bullying legislation and repealing the 1913 law that prevented out-of-state lesbian and gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts.
Gortikov also stressed that Patrick is the only candidate running who supports a transgender civil rights bill, which would provide protections to “some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents.”
Parade attendee Stacy Savard, 38, of Lowell said she tends to vote for candidates who support gay rights and equality because she wants “a fair share for everybody.”
Savard and her girlfriend plan to get married next month.
“It’s about openness and acceptance,” she said.
Independent Tim Cahill, the third major candidate in the race, did not march in the parade. A staffer said he was spending the day in his hometown of Quincy, and had plans to march in the city's Flag Day Parade
Meg Woolhouse of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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