Morse letter seems dictated by political calendar
Senator condemns 'vague and anonymous allegations'
Below is a statement from Sen. Julian Cyr of Truro regarding allegations that Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse abused his power in pursuing sexual relationships with college students at UMass Amherst. Morse said he did not have relationships with students he was teaching as a guest lecturer, as recently as 2019. He also says the relationships were consensual. Morse is challenging Rep. Richard Neal in the Democratic primary September 1.
As an “out” queer elected official who knows the sex lives of LGBTQ people are too often sensationalized in politics and in media, I find it extremely disappointing that vague and anonymous allegations have been levied against Holyoke Mayor and Congressional candidate Alex Morse without any on-the-record sourcing.
It’s alarming that these claims have attracted this level of attention with a swiftness I fear they would have not received if Alex were straight. We know few details about how Alex may or may not have acted with men he met and dated. I worry there isn’t sufficient time to investigate the accusations because the allegations were released literally as ballots hit mailboxes and only three weeks before primary day.
This race will set a precedent for whether vague and anonymous allegations can be easily launched against LGBTQ candidates to destroy their campaigns, or whether investigations will be required before LGBTQ candidates are condemned in the media. This campaign should be debated and won on the merits of the candidates’ ideas and their records of service. Congressman Neal has long been an ally to the LGBTQ community.I urge Congressman Neal to discourage any unsubstantiated accusations that traffic in dangerous stereotypes about LGBTQ people. We all need to understand that the way these allegations have been brought against Alex Morse have a chilling effect on the willingness of LGBTQ people to run for public office in Massachusetts and across the county.
Julian Cyr represents the Cape & Islands District in the Massachusetts Senate. He is the assistant majority whip and is the youngest member of the Senate. He identifies as LGBTQ.