Yesterday we met with Congressman Barney Frank in the halls of the Pepsi Center at the Democratic Naitonal Convention in Denver. Frank spoke to Towleroad’s Corey Johnson about gays voting Republican, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Here’s part of what Frank had to say about that:
"If we pick up 15 or 20 Democrats, most of them will be supportive. But I am disappointed in the transgender community. They seem to think that if Nancy Pelosi and myself, George Miller and a few others waved a magic wand we could deliver it. Look, this past year in the legislatures of Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York, efforts to add transgender protections…were defeated. And I testified for it in Massachusetts and lobbied for it. And as a political problem out there, I wish there weren’t, but pretending that something doesn’t exist is never a good way to deal with it. I am afraid that too many people in the transgender community think that talking to me and Nancy Pelosi is the way to do it. I don’t yet see enough grassroots lobbying on their part.
"I do think that the hearing that we had — and by the way, we had a hearing in the House over the objections of many of the transgender leadership. But I really doubt their political wisdom…Because they said it was part of our deal to separate it from ENDA and they wanted to not have anything separate. We did a good job in that hearing and we helped persuade some people. So we’re making progress. We’d make even more progress if the transgender community was willing to do the hard political work. And not, frankly, think they can just talk a few leaders into handing this to them."
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