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.
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Sunday, October 15
Former Rep. Gerry Studds, 69, dies
I don't remember the man but his name has been brought up lately to justify the Foley hoo hah by the Republicans. Studds was noted for his outstanding work on behalf of the fishing industry and environmental causes, (not for his work protecting young people from internet predators). "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."