Seth Moulton fires back after GOP candidate tries to get LGBTQ+ event canceled in Newburyport

Following a complaint from Kari MacRae, the community dance is in need of a new venue

Congressman Seth Moulton has responded to a GOP candidate after she made a complaint regarding a North Shore dance for teens.

Congressman Seth Moulton has chimed in on the debate surrounding “Over the Rainbow,” a community dance for North Shore teens that would include a drag queen performer. 

The dance was originally set to be held at St. John’s Lodge Masonic Hall in Newburyport. Following a complaint from Plymouth and Barnstable District state Senate candidate Kari MacRae, representatives from the venue have backed out of hosting the event, according to the Newburyport Daily News

“The views of one hateful @massgop candidate should not deny a group of #Newburyport LGBTQ teens the opportunity to enjoy themselves,” Moulton wrote on Twitter Monday.


Moulton, a Democrat, then told MacRae to keep her “bigotry” out of Massachusetts’s 6th Congressional District. 

The dance will be hosted by Newburyport Youth Services (NYS), and work is currently underway to find a new venue. It will still take place on May 13. The First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist Church in Newburyport has offered to host the dance, according to a press release. 

“The outpouring of love, encouragement and offers of support has been incredible. They reflect the true heart of our community,” NYS Director Andrea Egmont said. “We will announce a new location online by the end of the week.”

The event is co-sponsored by the North Shore Alliance for GLBTQ Youth (NAGLY) in Salem. James Giessler, the organization’s Executive Director, said that he has heard from many North Shore community members who have expressed their support. Some have offered to rent a venue for the dance, and others have volunteered their own event spaces. Due to a large number of donations, the event is now free for all. 

Giessler said he has been heartened by the outpouring of support. 

“I am disappointed more than anything… We’re just startled at why she would try to take on this particular event. At the same time, we’re heartened by the community’s response. They’ve stepped up in amazing ways. I think it’s going to end up being a better event,” Giessler said, “The upside is, the bad actors didn’t win.”

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MacRae is a Bourne School Committee Member and former teacher at Hanover High School. She was fired in September after making social media comments regarding critical race theory and gender identity. In a TikTok video, MacRae said she ran for office to ensure students are not being taught critical race theory, or that they can choose their gender. 


A recall effort against MacRae began in December, led by a former Bourne School Committee member. However, that effort was derailed in February when officials announced that the affidavit petition circulated by recall supporters did not include an oath, or affirmation, at the bottom of the signatures on multiple pages that assures signees knew what they were signing, according to The Cape Cod Times

“[The dance] was planned to incorporate age-appropriate representations of LGBTQ culture, and the inclusion of a DJ in Drag was something students wanted and were excited about. The event has been grossly mischaracterized by a handful of bad-faith actors, who are calling it things it is not. It is also important to know this event is not funded by taxpayer dollars,” said Newburyport Mayor Sean Reardon. “I support the youth who want to have this dance, and am happy to discuss concerns with community members who are not comfortable with it.”


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