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Massachusetts

Barney Frank opposes gay candidate for U.S. House because he’s a Republican

Friday, September 14, 2012

BOSTON, Mass. — Retiring U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) says will not support the election of another openly gay man running for his seat because the congressional hopeful, Richard Tisei, is a Republican.

“The fact that Richard Tisei is openly gay is a good thing. The problem is that it is of no use to us,” said Frank, in a telephone conference call with reporters on Thursday.

Richard Tisei

Frank said that if Tisei were elected, his first vote would be to keep fellow Republican John Boehner as House Speaker — Boehner has opposed efforts to repeal the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act that denies tax, health and other benefits to married gay couples.

The fact that Tisei supports efforts to repeal the law is beside the point, Frank said.

“If he is helping them keep the majority that is irrelevant because the bill will not come up,” he said.

Frank, who is backing fellow Democrat and incumbent Representative John Tierney in the state’s closely watched 6th Congressional District race.

Tisei told the Boston Globe earlier this week that the fact that he’s Republican is a good reason to back him.

Tisei said that most political analysts think that the GOP will retain control of the U.S. House, and that he’d be in a better position to advocate for the state with House leaders, and that if Tierney was elected, he would be in the minority party.

He also said his election would be another step forward for the country.

“As a gay person we will never have true equality until we have people on both sides of the aisle who are willing to stand up for the concept that everybody should be treated fairly under the law,” said Tisei.

The Victory Fund issued a statement Friday praising Frank for his service in Congress while taking issue with his comments about Tisei.

“As a nonpartisan organization working to bring LGBT voices to the table on both sides of the aisle, we disagree with Congressman Frank’s assessment of Richard Tisei, an openly gay, socially progressive Republican,” said Victory Fund CEO Chuck Wolfe.

“Just as Congressman Frank was able to help persuade Democrats to turn away from an anti-LGBT record over the more than 25 years he served as an openly gay member of the House, we believe Richard Tisei’s personal influence in the Republican caucus has the potential to change the hearts and minds of colleagues,” said Wolfe. “That is how real change begins.”

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43 more reader comments:

  1. Hypocrite!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:29pm
  2. He is a traitor to his own people.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:31pm
  3. gay or straight, a repo is BAD news.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:36pm
  4. I openly oppose Barney Frank because he’s a scumbag.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:36pm
  5. This is a GOOD thing, folks. Gay politicians should have to earn The Gay Vote like any other bloc. As between a gay Republican and non-gay Democrat, I’d likely vote (D). Does anyone believe a gay Republican is going to convince the Republican teabaggers to support gay civil rights?

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:36pm
  6. I agree with Barney. Just because he’s gay, does not mean his politics coincide with the gay community. Just like women, hispanics, poor people, etc. who vote Republican, are essentially voting against their own interests, not all gays are enlightened in their political stances.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:37pm
  7. I would do the same thing, I would not vote for any Republican gay or straight. The last thing the Republican majority needs is another vote, I agree with my sister Barney.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:39pm
  8. cool but to me its like a black person wanting to join the klan. good luck to him!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:40pm
  9. A gay Republican is worse than a non-gay Republican because they are working for a party that openly tries to deny gay people our rights. It’s like a Jewish person being a member of the Nazi Party or KKK and working to achieve their goals.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:41pm
  10. Just because a person is gay doesn’t mean you have to support every gay person that comes down the pike. Eugene McCarthy, the fascist Senator that gave the world “McCarthyism,” was gay. So was the Nazi Goebbels. Should we have supported them?

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:41pm
  11. Wait a minute! I know how this looks, but fully read the article. Why are so many opposed of an openly gay politician who is running Republican? What happened to equality? Can’t a Republican be liberal and gay without falling into the narrow minded fish tank that many GOP candidates do.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:41pm
  12. Are we forgetting that it was Clinton (a Dem) that signed DOMA and DADT into law? DOMA won’t be decided in the Congress, it’s in the hands of the Courts. 5 of the Federal Appeals Courts have already ruled it unconstitutional. The Supremes have agreed to take it up this session.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:43pm
  13. gay republican = oxymoron and the emphasis is on Moron

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:43pm
  14. Next headline…. from a bathroom stahl next to you…bwahahaha

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:44pm
  15. if he were liberal he wouldn’t be Republican

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:45pm
  16. Democrat doesn’t support republican is a story how?

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:53pm
  17. I agree with Barney Frank. There is no way that Boehner should be left in office and it elected Tisei will do that. Yes I also agree with Michael Gallo he is a traitor to his own people.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:53pm
  18. So what? Just because this guy is Gay, doesn’t mean that he automatically gets the support of everyone in the Gay community. That’s just stupid

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:55pm
  19. You mean you have to buy into the democratic parties collectivism to be officially gay? What kind of horse shit is that? It’s just like McCarthy’s loyalty tests.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:56pm
  20. Are we fogetting that it was Obama (also a dem) who worked for the repeal of DADT. I don’t know how old you folks are, or if you know anything about the history of DADT, but Clinton signed the bill and it was a step up from the old policy in the military at that time where anyone could be accused of being gay and get dismissed for it. The policy prohibited military personnel from discriminating against or harassing closeted homosexual or bisexual service members or applicants, while barring openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons from military service, so it was a double edged sword that sort of protected gay and lesbian service personel.
    As far as DOMA goes, Google “history of DOMA and read the explanation on Wikipedia. I resent Bill Clinton for signing both bills, but he has since changed his viewpoint, not that it helps now. But Pres. Obama was instrumental in repealing DADT and doesn’t enforce DOMA which mainly has to do with extending rights to GLBT in the Federal Government and state recognition of marriage equality by one state of another.
    The point with this gay repug is that his party doesn’t include marriage equality in their party platform. Personally, I think there is something seriously wrong with people who want to belong to a politial party that doesn’t respect there rights or as human beings. It is truly sad. I would rather vote for a heterosexual who supports my civil rights than a homosexual who doesn’t.
    I think that is what Barney is saying also. You have to remember the abuse he suffered as an out gay legislator at the hands of bigots like Dick Armey who called him Barney “Fag” and then said it was a “slip of the tongue”
    I’m going to miss him in congress.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:05pm
  21. How Ernst Rohm . . . very chic . . .

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:06pm
  22. Here is a kicker, between January 07 and December 10, DOMA was brought up for repeal, 2x by Bush and 1x by McConnell (both Repubs). Both Pelousi and Reed REFUSED to allow it to be voted on. Dems really have the backs of those in the gay community….BS!!!!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:07pm
  23. Blacks don’t vote or side with all black politicians just because they’re black!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:07pm
  24. I don’t really know why any Gay Man wants to be a Republican but what ever blows your skirt Mary!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:08pm
  25. No, because he’s a PHOBE!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:13pm
  26. No vote for a Republican!

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:14pm
  27. Agree with Frank. Vote for the candidate who will do the most for rights.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:17pm
  28. as it should be…you vote for a candidate on what agenda candidate supports, not whether candidate is straight, gay, black, white, male, female

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:21pm
  29. Gay AND Republican?. Isn’t that an oxymoron? LOL

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:22pm
  30. Black republicans bother me too especially now with all that racial hate of our President from the Republican Party

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:24pm
  31. Barney’s right. We don’t need any quislings selling us up the river.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:24pm
  32. Will never understand gay and republican.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:32pm
  33. I agree with Barney Frank. What’s the point of voting for a candidate simply because he’s gay if his party is wrong on every issue? that’s no better than voting AGAINST someone just because they’re gay. That isn’t putting the interests of the nation first, it’s just blindly voting for someone based on a personal characteristic. This man being gay does nothing to diminish the fact that his party are violently against LGBT rights of every kind, not to mention the environment, social programs, and a host of other issues.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:38pm
  34. I always wondered about this guy. Now the truth prevails. He did nothing to really support the LGBTQ Community…..NOT EVER that I know of…..

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 9:48pm
  35. Lol my god you people are slaves to the democratic party .. If you are you have to be democrat? If you are black and republican you are wrong? What the fuck happened to this country where your “label” decided your political party … You are fools .. This man is courageous and i support his completely

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 10:31pm
  36. How do you expect things to ever change in the republican party if we can’t even support someone like this man?m

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 10:34pm
  37. - Doesn’t it rather show that gay liberation has “grown up,” if sexual orientation is taken as just part of the whole personal/political package? We have no obligation to /vote/ for people who share our sexual minority status on that basis alone – but it is a good thing to have more openly LGBT politicians in the field, because that’s representative of reality.

    Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 11:07pm
  38. personally, I don’t understand how any gay person can be a member of the RNC. They hate everything about us and have zero tolerance for anything a gay person stands for. The RNC platform wants to ban gay marriage, ban gay’s in the military, create a constiitutional amendment making gay marriage illegal just for starters. It’s like a black man joining the KKK or a Jew becoming a Nazi.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 2:40am
  39. unless the whole party platform changes permanently republican & gay is a oxymoron.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 6:12am
  40. A Massachusetts Republican is usually more “liberal” than a Virginia Democrat, but Richard would support less savory politicians from more typical states — who have dominated the GOP since the Reagan era. So, Barney is correct in not supporting this opportunist.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 6:14am
  41. Gay Republicans don’t even make sense. They vote against themselves and the LGBT community. I truly believe that Gay Republicans are probably those that can’t accept themselves for who they are and their self hatred and self loathing gets taken out on the rest of our community by them. I wouldn’t support a Gay Republican candidate either. I know for example that Gay Republicans in my home state voted to ban same-sex marriage in our state and that ban passed because of them in my opinion.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 7:23am
  42. Voting for or against someone because they are straight or gay is stupid. Vote for someone because of where they stand. I agree with Rep. Frank.

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 7:52am
  43. Good luck changing the GOP!

    Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 5:17pm