CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Openly gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), speaking at an LGBT caucus meeting at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday slammed gay Republicans for supporting the GOP even as their party works to deny rights for the LGBT community.
Frank singled out the Log Cabin Republicans in particular for praising Paul Ryan’s selection as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, despite his opposition to marriage equality and his vote against repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Photo by David Lari, Special to LGBTQ Nation.
“I’ve been appalled to see the Log Cabin club, in the face of this worse and worse record on public policy by Republicans on our issues… They’re willing to be accepted with no rights — no right to marry, no right to serve in the military, no right to be protected against hate crimes, no right to be protected in employment,” said Frank.
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“I now understand why they call themselves Log Cabin: Their role model is Uncle Tom,” he added.
“Uncle Tom” is the name of the lead character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” and has become a pejorative term used to describe members of a minority group perceived to be a participant in their own oppression.
In an interview earlier in the day with Michelangelo Signorile on SiriusXM OutQ radio, Frank prefaced his speech and said that “for 20 years now I’ve heard how the Log Cabins are going to make Republicans better, but they’ve only gotten worse.”
The Log Cabin Republicans were quick to respond, calling Frank a “partisan hack” and his comments “false and degrading.”
“Frank calls us ‘Uncle Toms’ and pretends that Log Cabin hasn’t been on the front lines of the fight for equality,” said R. Clarke Cooper, LCR Executive Director, in a statement. “The truth is, by speaking conservative to conservative about gay rights, Log Cabin Republicans are doing some of the hardest work in the movement, work that liberals like Barney are unwilling to do and couldn’t do if they tried.”
“Gay liberals like Barney … are trying to silence us, calling us names and ganging up like schoolyard bullies,” Cooper said.
Jerame Davis, Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats, called out Cooper, and said that to suggest “a man as brave and upstanding as Congressman Frank is either cowardly or a bully is both deluded and absurd.”
“The true bullies are the hate-mongers in the GOP who want to strip us of our rights and shove us back into the closet,” said Davis. “And ‘cowardly’? Cowardly is making pathetic excuses for the backward and misguided anti-LGBT policies of your Party.”
“The Log Cabin Republicans are the most weak-kneed, sycophantic apologists I’ve ever encountered. After their dismal performance at the RNC convention driving the GOP platform even farther to the right, they should give back all the money they’ve fleeced from their donors and close the doors,” Davis added.