Former State Sen. Barrios To Discuss Gay Marriage Laws And Social Equality At Asm

Jarrett Barrios, the only Latino ever to serve in the Massachusetts State Senate, will discuss his legislative work toward legalizing gay marriage in Massachusetts at next week’s All-School Meeting. Barrios said, “With timely respect to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I hope that we may tip our hats to Dr. King and acknowledge that all of us are in fact part of this dream we are taught to believe in.” Sponsored by the Gay-Straight Alliance and the CAMD Office, Sen. Barrios, who is gay, will deliver his speech at the ASM on Wednesday, January 23. In addition to discussing gay marriage laws, Barrios will speak about the role of immigrants in our society. Barrios hopes to bring to Phillips Academy a socially innovative perspective based on his experience in the Massachusetts government. Barrios said, “I specifically hope to convey this commitment to social equality for everyone. That begins in each of our hearts. We are all raised with different viewpoints, including discriminatory stereotypes, but we must learn to create a social fabric, which will be constructed to solve some of these important issues.” Frank Tipton, faculty advisor to the GSA and member of the CAMD office, expressed excitement regarding the anticipated speech on behalf of the sponsoring groups. Tipton said, “We thought it would be great to bring someone to campus who was very involved in this hot topic to foster more discussion.” He explained the significance of the issues that Barrios will be addressing, specifically the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts. Tipton said that it is “important to bring someone to campus involved in these local and national issues,” so that the community may be made aware of the change that is happening around us. Barrios is a former Massachusetts State Senator who represented the Middlesex, Suffolk and Essex Districts. In May 2007, he resigned from the Senate to take the role of President of the Massachusetts Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation. Since then, he has worked for statewide accessibility to health care. Barrios graduated from Harvard University with high honors and went to work for the Boston City Council before attending Georgetown University to attain his law degree with honors. In 1998, he was elected as a Congressman to the Massachusetts State House of Representatives. His political career progressed after an election to the Massachusetts State Senate in 2002. During his time in the Senate, he successfully lowered state taxes and expanded health care access. Barrios has been recognized for his work both in law and politics. He received the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service from UMass Boston and was named legislator of the year by a collection of Massachusetts councils.