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Barney Frank on the National Equality March: Everybody Stay Home, Obama Doesn't Need the Pressure

Barney Frank was a guest on Michelangelo Signorile's radio show yesterday and spoke about the hate crimes bill (which is still attached to a DoD appropriations bill despite a challenge this week) which should get a vote next week and be along to Obama's desk for signature, ENDA, the DOMA repeal, and the National Equality March.

Barney Of the March, Frank said: "I literally don't understand how this will do anything. People are kidding themselves. I don't want people patting themselves on the back for doing something that is useless. Barack Obama does not need pressure."

According to Signorile, "He says we should model ourselves as lobbyists on 'the National Rifle Association.' He says people should not come to Washington and should stay home and lobby their members of Congress. 'Nobody in Congress even knows they're there, he says, and he is not attending the March: He is going to California to raise money for himself and other Democrats.'"

We won't be taking his advice, and we'll see some of you in D.C.

On that note, Emma Ruby-Sachs in the Huffington Post has written a speech for Obama to give at the HRC dinner, and Jose Antonio Vargas has a wish list in the Huff Post as well.

Also, Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson offers his $.02.

Listen to Signorile's interview with Barney Frank here.

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Comments

  1. Wolfie: Excellent.
    Might I suggest: Print out this story, with all the comments and FAX it to Mr Frank. That's what I'm gonna do.
    Thanks for the phone/FAX numbers!!

    Posted by: JimmyD | Oct 8, 2009 1:07:13 PM


  2. 24Play.

    Oh you mean instead of the whole community NOW paying and continue to pay because of HRC's ass kissing, arrogance and laziness? At least with Cleve we take back the power that the HRC has made useless.

    Posted by: Wolfie | Oct 8, 2009 1:12:39 PM


  3. This is why we in Massachusetts love Barney so much. He's one of the reasons we've gotten as far as we have in this state. Go to the march and then return to your marriage-less, right-wing states all smug in the knowledge you've sure shown Barney Frank what real progress is all about. ;-)

    Posted by: Jeff In Boston | Oct 8, 2009 1:17:38 PM


  4. This man has me so confused. One minute I’m fully behind him; another minute I’m embarrassed by him. Then there are times when he full on misses the point. I wonder if he exhausts himself from all of his responsibilities, then shoots his mouth off when his brain is too tired.

    Posted by: Christian | Oct 8, 2009 1:20:45 PM



  5. Jeff In Boston thats THE PROBLEM we don;t ALL LIVE in Blue States. And I actually lived in Boston during the whole Gay Marriage episode it could have just as easily gone the other way if it wasn;t for DiMassi stalling and then ;eaning om the Legislature for so long.

    Posted by: Wolfie | Oct 8, 2009 1:27:22 PM


  6. We need a gay Bill O'Reilly to smack Barney Frank down, again. When Barney's criticized he does nothing but try to obscure the issues by talk, talk, talking, "Bluh, bluh bluh, bluh.." Anyway, I don't like personal attacks on Obama, either, but anybody who's not at this march better have a very good reason not to be-- like money or health.

    Posted by: JT | Oct 8, 2009 1:27:52 PM


  7. I'm sorry, Wolfie. Was there some portion of my comment in which I praised HRC? Did I inadvertently imply that somewhere?

    To get our rights addressed, we have always needed to have a demanding presence both on the streets and in the halls of power. And, unfortunately, Cleve's Ego March is about as effective at the former as HRC is at the latter.

    Posted by: 24play | Oct 8, 2009 1:37:31 PM


  8. All I know is that whatever tack those Tea Baggers take, I want to take one that's more effective.

    Short of having FOX News in our pocket, I don't see how we can hope to garner a fraction of the attention those conservative bigots did.

    Frank is wrong... Obama needs the pressure. We're just applying it the wrong way. This march is useless.

    Posted by: Tommy | Oct 8, 2009 1:37:35 PM


  9. I love me some big purple dinosaur but i have to disagree with him here. I could care less how much pressure Barack has to deal with. Its his job. He has the perfect storm to enact change, real, lasting change in this country and he's not doing anything. I wish i could give Congressman Frank a piece of my mind.

    Posted by: Alex Paris | Oct 8, 2009 1:40:20 PM


  10. 24Play but at least its a start. And do you see anyone else stepping up to bat? You may not like Cleve but at least he is trying. And no you said nothing about the HRC but that is the counter. You see NOT ONLY Cleve needs to step up. WE ALL DO, We have all been far to content sending money to the HRC because they've been feeding us the BS about how close they are and how much work they do. Then we find out they are striking up deals about what will be worked on when and handing out quarter million dollar paychecks.

    First off we need to crate a new lobbying organizatio that the cause is more impotant than a bloated weekly paycheck and nice shiney offices and out our support behind them and basically FIRE the HRC,

    And secondly we all need to fight, we all need to stand up. We need to protest and we do need to lobby ourselves. But e need to yake a page from the other sides playblook. How do you think the Right Wing groups gets things through. They not only put pressure on Dems. They put masive pressure on thier OWN REPUGS and put the fear in them that they don;t make it owrk that they will no longer be supported by money or votes.

    We have been far too easy on everyone for far too long.

    Posted by: Wolfie | Oct 8, 2009 1:52:12 PM


  11. I think Barney's probably right, but as the vitriol in some of the postings shows here, the gay community loves to shoot itself in the foot, so go ahead.

    Posted by: john | Oct 8, 2009 1:53:04 PM


  12. Barney Frank, drop dead. You are irrelevant. And a homphobic fat piece of dog shit.

    I see no difference between Barney Frank and Rick Santorum beyond the rhetoric. Both oppose gay rights.

    Posted by: Lonnie | Oct 8, 2009 2:00:44 PM


  13. I loved the marches I attended in the 80s and 90s -- it is much more about unity and togetherness in a movement and less about getting progress inside the room in Washington.

    That said, Why not hold Obama's feet to the fire.. we are watching him and he should know.

    Posted by: David B. 2 | Oct 8, 2009 2:02:25 PM


  14. Barney is an idiot, trying to cover up for his mismanagement of the country's economic situation.

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 8, 2009 2:09:19 PM


  15. Winning the Maine battle would be worth more than 1000 marches.

    Posted by: Garry in Boston | Oct 8, 2009 2:14:21 PM


  16. He's basically saying that the march will hurt the Democratic parties chances in the midterm elections and their ability to raise money this fall for candidates in close districts. As one of the House leaders in charge of fund raising, he has to say whatever it takes to get the $$ in for the next election. Pity that it involves ignoring gay rights.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 8, 2009 2:14:31 PM


  17. Barney Frank is personally threatened anytime the gay establishment is threatened. HE is much more the useless, toothless pawn of the DNC than HRC is. Of course he hates this march. It is not all about him. It is in favor of rights for LGBT people, a cause he is no more enthusiastic about than any other Democrat in Congress.

    Do call Frank's office and let him know you heard these comments and demand an apology. Demand his presence at the march. Let him know that you'll remember this.

    Posted by: Landon Bryce | Oct 8, 2009 2:20:54 PM


  18. I agree with Frank and Z. Your money will be well spent elsewhere. How many of you are staying at a Marriot? That's owned by Mormons, they very people who hate you. This March will produce nothing but a 3 minute news segment. Stay home, don't waste gas, and money. Do your part locally.

    Posted by: RJ | Oct 8, 2009 2:29:17 PM


  19. Young Gay Americans don't vote, but they sure as shit like a big party! This March is a waste all around. Time, money, effort, people, energy, visibility, Everything. And what's worse is I bet MOST attendees don't know who their members of the Senate or Congress are that represent them as citizens. Of it's all fine and dandy to get hot and bothered and stamp your feet and scream and march, but if you don't talk to your law maker you're just killing time and wasting energy. Reality Check!

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Oct 8, 2009 2:38:51 PM



  20. Sargon Bighorn and who's fault is that. The HRC should be teahing them and whipping them up into a lobbying frenzy.

    You know the reason Barney doesn;t want us to come. The same reason he won't be there. MONEY. He himnself is turning his back on the gay community to go and fundraise. He doesn;t want us to march because he's afraid the money will not be given to him, the Dems, and Obama. Or the HRC who will in turn donate to them. And you know what. My money won't be sent to them. Years of promises and donations. And in 2008 the BIG ONES and none have come to pass. I voted and gave money for shit to be done in the 2008 election. My money and my vote is not automatic. You need to GIVE ME SOMETHING SUBSTANTIAL if you want it to continue.

    Posted by: Wolfie | Oct 8, 2009 2:52:21 PM


  21. Keep the pressure on Obama. Gay rights meet the fierce urgency of NOW!

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 8, 2009 2:57:03 PM


  22. There's a reason things don't move in Congress. It's because we haven't proven we can win statewide battles like in Maine. Win that one, follow it up with more wins, and that inertia in Congress will start to crumble.

    If we lose in Maine, expect to be strung along some more.

    Posted by: Garry in Boston | Oct 8, 2009 3:04:38 PM


  23. It's not important how many people ACTUALLY turn out, only how many people are REPORTED to turn out - witness the 9/12 rally, where an estimated 10,000 - 20,000 people turned into "millions" thanks to the right wing blogosphere.

    Posted by: allnighter | Oct 8, 2009 3:05:08 PM


  24. Bawney Fwank is the gay establishment. And that's part of why the gay establishment needs to go.

    Obama and Congress are both the problem. The feet of all 535 members of the United States Congress and the President need to be held to the fire until our rights are guaranteed.

    When we get our rights, it will be because of gay people, and only gay people, fighting like warriors (not namby-pamby activists) for what is ours under the laws of the United States of America.

    Posted by: Attmay | Oct 8, 2009 3:11:06 PM


  25. I don't agree with disparaging the march because I think there is such a thing as a two-pronged approach. I'm not going, but I'm not hoping it's a disaster and calling it futile. But I think his NRA example is very savvy. Imagine if we had the weight of influence of the NRA??? That, I guess, is what HRC has been attempting to do. But I feel HRC is too often off the mark and needs more fangs. Maybe a march will encourage that.

    It would be silly to turn on Barney, though. He's on our side.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Oct 8, 2009 3:16:26 PM


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