WASHINGTON - Yesterday, Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., announced that he would be vacating his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to accept the position as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement of congratulations.
"Representative Marty Meehan has been one of the most loyal allies to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community during his 14-year tenure in Congress," said Solmonese. "Although we will miss the dedication and determination he brought to the fight for equality for all Americans on the floor of the U.S. House, we send our utmost congratulations for this exciting new endeavor in his career. The University of Massachusetts-Lowell is fortunate to have such a proven leader at the helm."
During his time in Congress, Meehan has been a vocal leader who brought national attention to the need for the repeal of the military's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. On Feb. 28, 2007, Meehan reintroduced his signature piece of GLBT legislation in the 110th Congress - the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1246) - with an impressive number of more than 100 bipartisan original co-sponsors in support of the legislation.
"The first amendment of his career in the U.S. House could have been on a number of issues, but Representative Meehan chose to offer legislation to repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy," continued Solmonese. "Since those first days, there has been no member of Congress who had been more dedicated to the repeal of a policy that continues to hurt the national security of our nation. Representative Meehan leaves an enormous footprint on our struggle for equality, and we will be forever grateful."
"As the people of the 5th congressional district of Massachusetts consider their next representative, we trust that they will not forget the legacy of equality and fairness that Representative Meehan leaves behind," Solmonese concluded.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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