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Barney Frank calls Mitt Romney ‘despicable’ for anti-gay views

CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rep. Barney Frank tore into Mitt Romney for his anti-gay positions Tuesday night, calling the presumptive Republican presidential nominee “despicable.”

The gay lawmaker, who late last year announced his retirement after serving 31 years in Congress, made the comments about Romney during an interview with the Washington Blade following his keynote speech at the National Stonewall Democrats’ Capital Champions reception in D.C.

Barney Frank. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.)

Frank took issue with what he said was Romney’s “willingness … to switch and become very anti-gay” after pledging in 1994 to be better on LGBT issues than the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. He also criticized Romney for statements that Frank said “trivialize our marriages.” During a speech in February, Romney said he “fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage.”

“That’s saying our marriages were a trick, were a sham,” Frank said. ”He’s clearly prepared to embrace the most — oh, and supporting a constitutional amendment. What that says is that existing marriages are abolished. That’s just outrageous.”

Frank criticized Romney on the same night that the candidate swept five Republican primaries in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York. Following Romney’s wins, multiple media outlets reported that former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich would suspend his campaign next week. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, Romney’s main challenger in the primary contests, exited the race earlier this month.

While widely viewed as more moderate than his primary opponents, Romney signed a pledge from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage committing himself to back a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court and set up a commission on religious liberty to investigate the alleged harassment of same-sex marriage opponents. NOM has also endorsed Romney.

Although Romney has said he opposes discrimination, Frank claimed he’s being disingenuous because Romney hasn’t articulated any ways in which he would work to bar discrimination against LGBT people. In 1994, Romney said he supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, but he has since disavowed that support, saying in 2006 that he sees no need for it, then in 2007 that employment non-discrimination should be a state issue.

“He’s lying,” Frank said. “What does that mean? How does he oppose discrimination? He’s not for any legislation that would make it illegal. So how does he oppose it? He is for a discrimination that would dissolve all the existing marriages. So what does that mean when he says that?”

Frank also said Romney doesn’t deserve credit from the LGBT community for last week hiring Richard Grenell, an openly gay man, as his spokesperson for national security and foreign affairs issues.

“He’s got one openly gay person,” Frank said. “How many people is he going to hire? He had some openly gay people work for him when he was in Massachusetts. We’re beyond giving people credit for not overtly discriminating.”

Frank refrained from criticizing President Obama for his decision not to issue an executive order at this time barring LGBT workplace discrimination among federal contractors.

Continue reading at the Washington Blade

© Washington Blade. Reprinted by permission.

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17 more reader comments:

  1. You go Barney , kick him in da ass

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:01am
  2. Thank you Barney

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:06am
  3. Go Barney!

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:06am
  4. Go Barney. Tell the scum what they really are!

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:08am
  5. Keep churning, BARNEY!!!! You da man!!!

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:11am
  6. I love Barney. I’m going to miss him so much as my Rep.

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:14am
  7. I am not voting for Mitt Romney, no way in all hell.

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:15am
  8. Now that’s what we call equality.

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:16am
  9. Mitt is a despicable human being. Take a look at what he has done to the companies he bought and sold. He destroyed them.

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:34am
  10. Between Obama and Romney, we as a country are screwed.

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:35am
  11. So this upcoming election is a pity election? o.O

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:37am
  12. Just imagine if McCain had won, how different positive LGBT polices/laws would be now? There would be none. Obama 2012 !!

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 9:43am
  13. we need to cut it out with this gay marraige because teh biggest issue right now is our work force freedom which is not covered by the anti discrimination act. My boyfriend jsut got fired, and the manager told customers he was a fag and wanted to fuck them, and she gets off scott free…please america give us a break

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 10:02am
  14. Where did your boyfriend work? There may not be an anti-discrimination law in your state, but the employer may have a national corporate policy on it…

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 10:52am
  15. Joshua, some states are using, with limited success, gender discrimination policies for wrongful termination, in place of GLBT policies which are not enacted in all 50 states yet. And, creating a hostile work environment, and slander are still illegal no matter what your sexual orientation is. I’m sorry about what happened to your boyfriend.

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 10:58am
  16. I vote and I don’t believe in descrimination. So, romney can paint on of his other houses white for all I care.

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 11:57am
  17. That sucks, Joshua..sorry to hear that :(

    Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 7:23pm