A gay father who is running for office in Massachusetts is calling on Republican State Committee member Deborah Martell to step down, after emails surfaced in which she told colleagues she was “sickened” he had adopted children with his husband.
Republican congressional candidate Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette and his husband Julian own a daycare in Worcester County. The couple also have two adopted children; 19-year-old Ashley and 10-year-old Rylan. Sossa-Paquette is now running for the 2nd congressional district seat held by Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern.
According to the Boston Globe, Martell, who represents Ludlow in the First Hampden & Hampshire District, sent an email to fellow elected Republicans on May 15th saying she was “sickened” by the makeup of Sossa-Paquette’s family.
“I heard he was a ‘married’ homosexual man, who adopted children,” Martell said in the email to her colleagues. “I was sickened to hear this.”
As the Globe reports, a fellow Republican shared Martell’s comments with Sossa-Paquette, who said he was “shocked.” Sossa-Paquette then confronted Martell, warning that he was planning to go public with her comments.
According to an email reviewed by the Globe, Martell responded to Sossa-Paquette’s warning by repeating her beliefs and trying to explain her opinions to him.
“I am a Catholic who loves God and His Ten Commandments. I wish the best for every person in the world, including you!” she replied. “What sickened me was that you adopted children… Children deserve a mom and a dad. That’s how God designed marriage and the family.”
Sossa-Paquette told the Globe he has reached out to GOP Chairman Jim Lyons to ask him to condemn Martell’s comments and to direct her to resign from the Republican State Committee.
However, Sossa-Paquette said Lyons ignored several messages from him, and eventually said he wasn’t going to get involved in the issue.
“This does not represent the Republican Party that I’ve defended for the last 20 years of my life,” Sossa-Paquette told the Globe. “I’m not going to tolerate any bigotry coming out of my own party or the Democratic Party. It just doesn’t belong. Anyone who does that should not be in office.”