BOSTON – October 31, 2019 – In response to the toxic remarks made by Christopher Pohner, a candidate running for an at-large seat in next week’s Springfield City Council election, MassEquality released the following statement: “MassEquality condemns the vile transphobic, homophobic, and racist comments made by Springfield City Council candidate Christopher Pohner. No candidate who threatens violence against trans citizens and espouses racist conspiracies can govern fairly and respectfully on behalf of all residents. Further, his refusal to take responsibility for his hateful words and crude slurs demonstrates a lack of integrity and accountability that renders him unfit for an office of public trust. We are proud to join courageous local advocates at Out Now and Springfield Pride in recognizing that the dangerous rhetoric of hate has no place in Springfield’s government or anywhere in the Commonwealth. We call on Mr. Pohner to withdraw from the race.

“His violent hate speech runs counter to our Commonwealth’s core shared values of fairness and equality. Realizing these values takes more than just a passive commitment. At MassEquality, we know well that a constant defense is required when a strategic offence is employed. Over the past two decades, we have committed to this fight, from creating marriage equality to lobbying to outlaw anti-trans discrimination to pushing for the ban on conversion therapy. In our recent community meetings, LGBTQ citizens and allies throughout the state encouraged us to redouble our efforts in this struggle by employing an active, locally-based focus across Massachusetts. Mr. Pohner’s bigoted remarks are just one manifestation of what we heard resoundingly: that our work is far from done. MassEquality will continue to fight for the dignity and civil rights of LGBTQ communities until the dream of equality becomes a reality from the Berkshires to Bourne and in every region in between.”

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MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.