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Barney Frank Talks ENDA, Plus a Highlight Reel of His Zingers: VIDEO


Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade and Chris Geidner at MetroWeekly have nice wrap-ups of yesterday's longer press conference held by Congressman Barney Frank on his retirement.

Frank talked at length about ENDA and the difficulties of getting it passed without a Democratic  president and a Democratic Congress:

“The only way you can get any law passed that fights discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity is if you have a Democratic president, House and Senate. Now, people don’t realize how rarely we’ve had that. We’ve had a Democratic president, House and Senate for four years out of the 32 I’ve been in Congress. We had it for the first two years under Bill Clinton and we had it for the first two years under Barack Obama.”

Watch that clip, via Think Progress, AFTER THE JUMP...

Also, a highlight clip of Frank's zingers to reporters, fellow lawmakers, and constituents over the years.


Barney's best zingers, courtesy of HuffPo:

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  1. Gonna miss him. Maybe he'll get his own series, though.

    Posted by: Zlick | Nov 30, 2011 8:11:43 PM

  2. America is doomed without him.

    Posted by: gwyneth cornrow | Nov 30, 2011 9:47:55 PM

  3. America does need him. Maybe in another capacity he could make a greater difference. CNN - NBC?

    Posted by: Mark | Nov 30, 2011 10:12:04 PM

  4. A very tiny window of opportunity opened up to pass ENDA. It lasted just 2 years, in which the Dems held both Houses of Congress and the White House and even enjoyed a super-majority in the US Senate. All the votes were there to pass a law that would protect all workers in 30 states from sexual orientation discrimination. Yet, despite the fact that we have been working for a law to protect us against workplace discrimination for nearly 40 years, we let the window close.


    The reason for this catastrophic failure is that our unelected leaders at HRC and other groups are more concerned about adhering to the bogus, politically correct concept of "LGBT" and care more about bizarre issues like transsexual bathroom usage than they do about gay rights.

    ENDA would have passed if it had simply been introduced in the same form that it was first introduced in 1994. Because of "LGBT" it became stuffed with "transgender"
    items that Congress didn't understand and was in no mood to pass. Our groups chose to deny millions of gay people job protection because they cared more about showing "solidarity" with a group of people who are predominantly not gay and who contribute virtually nothing to the gay movement. Now, the window will remain closed for years, maybe decades. If any of you get fired and find that you have no legal recourse, you can thank your "LGBT" leaders for your

    Posted by: Mark Gerhard | Nov 30, 2011 11:27:36 PM

  5. So witty and charming Mr Frank!!!
    He should never retire from the public eye!

    Posted by: George F | Nov 30, 2011 11:41:49 PM

  6. the thing is about rights, is that they aren't supposed to be legislated.

    Posted by: vwdavy | Nov 30, 2011 11:45:21 PM

  7. @VwDavy: But the thing is about rights, is that they often have to be legislated. Otherwise certain people don't have rights.

    Sorry, but I don't understand your comment at all. Are you saying we should trust in the eternal goodwill of our fellow citizens? And then believing that it exists?

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 1, 2011 12:09:14 AM

  8. I love how he responded to that dumbass question about gays showering with straight military personel.

    Posted by: sylvatica | Dec 1, 2011 12:29:16 AM

  9. Sorry, Barney, but you failed. You and your fellow Democrats had a majority in both the House and Senate and still failed to pass ENDA.

    I'm not going to be held hostage by the false hope offered by Democrats seeking re-election. I won't be voting for any of them next year.

    Posted by: jason | Dec 1, 2011 6:53:06 AM

  10. Mark Gerhard,

    So true. I've always said that political correctness by gay leaders will end up killing the gay rights movement. It's already happening.

    Posted by: jason | Dec 1, 2011 7:01:53 AM

  11. Barney Frank... one of the greatest statesmen in Congress! We need 534 more like him! All the best in your retirement!

    Posted by: DarthEVaderCheney | Dec 1, 2011 8:51:02 AM

  12. Jason, so you expect the Republicans to do a better job fighting for LGBT rights? Have some sense, please. A disappointing friend is much better than your worst enemy.

    Posted by: MDK | Dec 1, 2011 10:10:40 AM

  13. dems are far from perfect

    republicans spell DISASTER for us

    Posted by: h | Dec 1, 2011 12:17:59 PM

  14. @jason
    May I remind you that, while the Democrats may not get the results we would like to see, at least they aren't the side that is actively working against us to kill all of our rights.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Dec 1, 2011 12:18:13 PM

  15. @ are mostly correct in you summary EXCEPT that it was all the OTHER LGBT(LMNOP) groups that slammed HRC for trying to pass the bill as you described it.
    It was Barney Frank who said that it would not pass with a gender identity at that time he and HRC were condemned for the strategy that would have passed ENDA at the time.
    End so....we have no protection in employment.
    and Frankly...Frank has really never been a gay activist.
    He has been a well respected and accomplished gay politician and Congressman and for that he deserves credit.

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Dec 1, 2011 7:10:34 PM

  16. Sorry, my criticism was directed at the gay orgs, not at Barney Frank. Frank correctly told us then and he says again in this video that the bill could not pass stuffed with gender identity provisions. He was honest and he tried to do the right thing. Our orgs were more concerned appearing politically correct than getting the bill passed.

    Posted by: Mark Gerhard | Dec 1, 2011 7:39:45 PM

  17. I hope we haven't seen the last of him when he leaves congress, and surely we need someone else like him in the House. The right has vilified him for years, and through it all he comes out proud of it. Going to miss you Congressman!

    Posted by: Redebbm | Dec 2, 2011 4:50:30 PM

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