BOSTON (CBS) — Speaking about LGBT activists booing Gov. Charlie Baker last week over his lack of support for a bill supporting transgender rights, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo said transgender issues were “very heated,” but said he was committed to getting the bill into law.
“I want something that’s not only going to pass the house, but that’s going to become law,” said DeLeo. “I’m not looking for a symbol, I’m looking for a law.”
DeLeo sat down with WBZ political analyst Jon Keller to discuss the bill, which is currently before the state legislature. DeLeo was concerned about a possible veto of the bill by Gov. Baker, and said he was trying to gather enough support for the bill to override a veto.
“If we don’t succeed, and it doesn’t become law, then I’m very concerned in terms of this movement being set back a number of years if we can’t get it in law at the end of this session,” said DeLeo.
DeLeo said he didn’t dismiss opponents’ concerns about the bill, but that he believes it should pass–and was hopeful that it would.
DeLeo also discussed the bipartisan opposition to the legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts, which he lent his name to along with Gov. Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. He said that he was told by many addicts that their marijuana use led to their addiction to opiates and heroin.
“We’re going through a terrible, terrible opioid crisis right now,” said DeLeo. “I feel very hypocritical, quite frankly, for me to say on the one hand we’re going to do everything we can to stop this abuse, and stop these deaths, but at the same time, turn around and say, you know what, I’m for the legalization of marijuana.”
DeLeo and Keller also discussed the opposition to the anti-marijuana campaign, and the passing of long-time limited taxation advocate Barbara Anderson.