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Barney Frank Explains His Criticism of the National Equality March


Joy Behar asked Barney Frank last night about health care reform and  about his remarks regarding last weekend's National Equality March. Frank told Michelangelo Signorile before the March: "Barack Obama doesn't need any pressure on these things. Secondly, if you do want to pressure Congress, I don't know what standing on the Mall on a weekend when no member of Congress is in town is going to do. All that's going to pressure is the grass."

Says Frank to Behar: "I am afraid that some people will come to Washington and they will march and think they've done it. That's why I said what I did. Marching isn't a negative thing but to the extent that people think that having marched they've done something effective they wouldn't do something that is effective."


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  1. Casey:

    Just imagine if everyone who defended Barney Frank contacted their legislators, too!

    I assume you all are putting as much time into doing that as you are into telling others that they are wrong to other things as well. But I also assume gay people who attended the march are many times more likely to have contacted their legislators than people who did not, don't you?

    I don't think the idea that people will attend a march OR do other activism is supported by anything other than Frank's attempt to defend an indefensible position. One of the reasons people who need to bash the march at all cost labeled the speeches "dull" was that they emphasized further action we all need to take rather than soaring rhetoric.

    Posted by: Landon Bryce | Oct 15, 2009 2:03:13 PM

  2. The purpose of a 'march' is to make the marchers feel better, not to change anything. Or do I today, Oct. 15th, have more rights as a gay man than I had last thursday?

    Posted by: Donald | Oct 15, 2009 2:36:14 PM

  3. Some of you assume that if people hadn't gone to the march, that money would have been spent on your pet cause. Doubtful.

    Btw, the march was never intended for FOX news. Why are we so concerned with what others think of us? I don't need FOX to validate me> The only was they would have featured us is if we had had problems, which we didn't.

    The march happened. It was a success. Now, let's go to the next step.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Oct 15, 2009 3:52:08 PM

  4. I have a letter in my email just today from our senator suggesting times for a meeting.

    He is co=sponsor on just about every pro-gay measure before the Senate, so there's not much convincing to do.

    This came in response to a request to meet while we were in DC.

    So don't tell me you can't march and lobby your delegation!

    For those of you who weren't there, there were no parties. It was NOT a standard gay pride weekend with circuit parties for the politically apathetic. Didn't happen.

    Furthermore, how many of you think Obama would have turned up and given a speech if there were no march planned?

    Posted by: KevinVT | Oct 15, 2009 4:21:01 PM

  5. Barney 'Hot Bottom Boy' Frank?

    He was my congressman for 7 months

    Posted by: John in Boston | Oct 16, 2009 1:53:49 AM

  6. How dare you question Congressman Frank's judgment!

    Don't you know he's brilliant? Really wicked smaht (smart) as we say in Boston.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Oct 16, 2009 1:58:18 AM

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