Gerry Studds

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Gerry Studds or Gerry Eastman Studds represented the 10th U.S. House District of Massachusetts from 1973 to 1997. He was born in Mineola, Nassau County, N.Y. on May 12, 1937; attended the public schools in Cohasset and Derby Academy in Hingham, Mass.; B.A., Yale University, 1959; M.A.T., history, same university, 1961; teacher at St. Paul’s School, Concord, N.H.; served as a foreign service officer in the United States Department of State from 1961-1962; member, President Kennedy’s White House staff, 1962-1963; legislative assistant to Senator Harrison A. Williams, Jr., 1964; State Coordinator of United States Senator Eugene McCarthy’s presidential primary campaign, 1968; delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1968; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-third and to the eleven succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1973-January 3, 1997); censured by the Ninety-eighth Congress pursuant to H.Res. 265, passed July 20, 1983; chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries (One Hundred Third Congress); was not a candidate for reelection to the One Hundred Fifth Congress.

On July 20, 1983, Studds was censured for having an affair 10 years earlier with a male page. He turned his back as the charges against him were read. The anti-gay crew had worked hard to demonize him (as they would Barney Frank several years later over allegations of a male prostitute having clients in Frank's apartment). Gerry held a press conference with the page and admitted to a relationship. They each firmly stated that what had gone on in their bedroom was their business, and absolutely no one else's.

Easily reelected in 1984, Studds became both the first openly gay member of Congress and the first gay member of Congress to be reelected. He won 5 more terms after that, and retired in 1996. The district is now represented by William Delahunt.

Studds died on October 14, 2006 at age 69 in Boston at Boston Medical Center. He fell ill on October 3rd with a blood clot in his lung, was hospitalized and then died. He is survived by Dean Hara, whom he married after gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts in 2004.

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