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Mass. delegation says ‘It Gets Better’

Brown does not appear in video to help gay teens

John F. Kerry’s office organized the “It Gets Better’’ video. John F. Kerry’s office organized the “It Gets Better’’ video. (Youtube)
By Michael Levenson and Glen Johnson
Globe Staff / July 28, 2011

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Every member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, except for Senator Scott Brown, appears in a new “It Gets Better’’ video aimed at helping gay teenagers who are contemplating suicide or struggling with depression.

“I know you may feel that even the people who are closest to you can’t understand what you’re going through,’’ Senator John F. Kerry says as he starts the piece.

“But I can tell you, you’re not alone,’’ continues Representative Edward J. Markey, dean of the delegation.

Eleven of the 12 members make a brief comment or two, except for Brown, the lone Republican in the delegation. The video concludes with comments from Representative Barney Frank, an openly gay congressman.

Brown was invited to participate in the video, which was organized by Kerry’s office, but declined to take part, said two congressional officials. Brown’s spokesman, Colin Reed, defended that decision in a statement released yesterday.

“Scott Brown has a strong record at the state and federal level against bullying and believes that all people regardless of sexual orientation should be treated with dignity and respect,’’ Reed said. “His main focus right now is on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track.’’

Unlike some of his fellow Massachusetts Republicans, Brown has spoken out strongly against same-sex marriage, supporting a constitutional amendment to ban such unions, and has opposed the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Reed said Brown “believes in traditional marriage, but accepts that gay marriage is settled law in Massachusetts and believes it’s time to move on.’’ Recently, Brown supported the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy banning gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

The It Gets Better Project was founded by Dan Savage, a provocative sex columnist who frequently criticizes social conservatives. The project has collected thousands of video testimonials to offer support to gay and lesbian youths across the country. President Obama and a long list of Democrats have recorded videos for the project, as have business moguls, movie stars, musicians, and athletes. But it appears no Republicans in Washington have participated.

Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson. Glen Johnson can be reached at johnson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.