Over the past week, we have seen Alex Morse, a candidate for the CD1 Congressional seat, accused of sexual harassment and impropriety of college students. These allegations have been widely publicized and repeated as fact by the Massachusetts media and establishment, without substantiation or even anecdotal evidence of wrongdoing. It has now come to light that these accusations were made as a politically motivated attack, feeding into the homophobic trope of gay men as predators and pedophiles. There has been further evidence that to try and implicate Mr. Morse, his accusers attempted to contact him over dating and social media apps in order to entrap him.
These gaybaiting tactics strike fear into the hearts of gay men everywhere, and can limit their willingness to participate in public life “For LGBTQ+ people contemplating a run for office, knowing that these types of targeted attacks are taking place can be a major deterrent” said Rob Henry, President of Mass Equality’s C4 Board.
“As more details emerge, we must reject homophobia in all its forms while recognizing the damage that false accusations cause for sexual assault survivors” said Michael Pizziferri, President of Mass Equality’s C3 Board.
Exaggerated and imagined allegations can be extremely harmful to survivors of sexual assault and harassment. These individuals have suffered real harm and their challenge is compounded by false allegations that make it harder to believe survivors.
MassEquality stands firm in its mission to advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community and elect champions of our cause. Morse’s candidacy is a reminder of the progress our community has won. Unfortunately, these attacks demonstrate how much more work needs to be done.