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Old 10-14-2006, 06:03 PM   #1
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Rest In Peace Congressman Studds

Studds, 1st Openly Gay Congressman, Dies


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Oct 14, 1:40 PM (ET)

By JAY LINDSAY

(AP) Rep. Gerry E. Studds, D-Mass., faces reporters outside the U.S. Capitol in this file photo from...
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BOSTON (AP) - Former Rep. Gerry Studds, who became the first openly gay member of Congress when his homosexuality was exposed during a teenage page sex scandal, died early Saturday. He was 69.

Studds died at Boston Medical Center several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said. Doctors determined his loss of consciousness was due to a blood clot in his lung, Dean Hara said.

Studds regained consciousness and seemed to be improving, but his condition deteriorated Friday because of a second blood clot. The origin of the second clot was not immediately determined, said Hara, who married Studds shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts in 2004.

Hara said Studds gave courage to gay people by winning re-election after publicly acknowledging his homosexuality.


(AP) Rep. Gerry E. Studds, D-Mass., faces reporters outside the U.S. Capitol in this file photo from...
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"He gave people of his generation, of my generation, of future generations, the courage to do whatever they wanted to do," said Hara, 49.

Studds was first elected in 1972 and represented Cape Cod and the Islands, New Bedford, and the South Shore for 12 Congressional terms. He retired from Congress in 1997.

In his early career, Studds was known for opposing the Vietnam War and military intervention in Central America. Studds later became an advocate for a stronger federal response to the AIDS crisis and was among the first members of Congress to endorse lifting the ban on gays serving in the military.

In 1983, Studds acknowledged his homosexuality after a 27-year-old man disclosed that he and Studds had had a sexual relationship a decade earlier when the man was a teenage congressional page.

The House of Representatives censured Studds, who then went home to face his constituents in a series of public meetings.

At the time, Studds called the relationship with the teenage page, which included a trip to Europe, "a very serious error in judgment." But he did not apologize and defended the relationship as a consensual relationship with a young adult. The former page later appeared publicly with Studds in support of him.

The scandal recently resurfaced when Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., resigned after exchanging sexually explicit instant messages with a page. Republicans accused Democrats of hypocrisy for savaging Foley while saying little about Studds at that time.

Hara said Studds was never ashamed of the relationship with the page.

"This young man knew what he was doing," Hara said. "He was at (Studds') side."

Studds told his colleagues in a speech on the floor of the House that everyone faces a daily challenge of balancing public and private lives.

"These challenges are made substantially more complex when one is, as am I, both an elected public official and gay," Studds said at the time.

In Congress, Studds was an outspoken advocate for the fishing industry and was hailed by his constituents for his work establishing a limit for foreign fishing vessels 200 miles from the coast. After leaving Congress, he became a lobbyist for the fishing industry and environmental causes.

"His work on behalf of our fishing industry and the protection of our waters has guided the fishing industry into the future and ensured that generations to come will have the opportunity to love and learn from the sea," Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said in a statement. "He was a steward of the oceans."

In 1996, Congress named the 842-square-mile Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary after him in recognition of his work protecting the marine environment.

In addition to Hara, Studds is survived by a brother, a sister and four nephews.
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Old 10-14-2006, 06:06 PM   #2
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i think you have mentioned that you knew this man

i wish him and his loved ones peace

69 is not that old
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Old 10-14-2006, 06:08 PM   #3
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I was an intern in his local office.

Here is a great news clip on him.

http://www.boston.com/partners/world...ontinuous=true
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Old 10-14-2006, 06:11 PM   #4
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Very sad. RIP
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Old 10-14-2006, 07:05 PM   #5
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May he RIP.
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:03 AM   #6
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69 is too young.

It sounds like he died of
DVT, a condition my boss educates people on. A reporter, David Bloom died from the same thing.
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:15 AM   #7
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RIP Gerry
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Old 10-15-2006, 12:45 PM   #8
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RIP.
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:43 PM   #9
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RIP.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:29 AM   #10
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:14 PM   #11
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http://www.365gay.com/Newscon06/10/101706studds.htm

Quote:
Studds' Husband Denied Congressional Pension
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

October 17, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) For the first time the surviving spouse of a member of Congress is being denied death benefits.

Dean Hara, who married former Massachusetts Rep. Gerry Studds shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts in 2004, has been disqualified for benefits under the so-called federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress died Saturday due to a blood clot in his lung. He was 69.

Studds was first elected in 1972 and represented a southeastern district for 12 Congressional terms. Studds retired from Congress in 1997.

In 1983, Studds acknowledged he was gay after a 27-year-old man disclosed that he and Studds had had a sexual relationship a decade earlier when the man was a teenage congressional page.

The House of Representatives censured Studds, who then went home to face his constituents in a series of public meetings and who never lost their support.

During his 12 terms in Congress Studds contributed to the pension fund. Long-serving members of Congress like Studds retire with up to 80 percent of their highest salary.

At the time of his death Studds was receiving an estimated annual pension of $114,337.

Surviving spouses of members of Congress collect more than half of the pension for the remainder of their lives.

But not Hara.

"A gay spouse will not receive any sort of pension or annuity or anything like that," Chad Cowan, a spokesperson for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which administers the congressional pension program told the Lowell, Massachusetts Sun.

"It's not anything that anybody in our office has seen before," he added.

Federal DOMA was passed by Congress a dozen years ago and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It regularly denies same-sex couples any federal benefits, but this is the first time it has affected the surviving spouse of a member of Congress.

Nevertheless, Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) who pled guilty last week to conspiracy charges and faces up to 10 years in prison for taking bribes will receive about $29,000 a year from his pension for the rest of his life - even while he is in prison.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:33 AM   #12
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Under federal law, pensions can be denied only to lawmakers' same-sex partners and people convicted of espionage or treason.
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