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Barney Frank Hits Gay Republicans: 'Their Role Model is Uncle Tom'

In an interview with radio host Michelangelo Signorile, outgoing Congressman Barney Frank, who will speak at the Democratic National Convention tonight, discussed the DNC, Mitt Romney, and denounced gay Republicans who accept that party's support with no rights.

FrankSaid Frank:

“Frankly 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. Mr. Cooper said, ‘Well at least they’re not saying bad things about us.' That’s just extraordinary. Again, 30 years ago when we were emerging from the vice of prejudice, I understood that. But no, we shouldn’t be accepting a kind of second class citizenship, [and saying], ‘You can treat us badly as long you don’t yell at us.’ They’re accepted on [the GOP's] terms. 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. I’ll be honest: For 20 years now I’ve heard how the Log Cabins are going to make Republicans better, but they’ve only gotten worse. I now understand why they call themselves Log Cabin: their role model is Uncle Tom.”

CooperLog Cabin Republican Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper hit back at Frank in an email, calling the Congressman a "partisan hack" who is "unwilling to do" the "hardest work" for the LGBT rights movement:

"As far as Log Cabin Republicans are concerned, it's a badge of honor to be attacked by a partisan hack like Barney Frank. We understand that Barney has earned his protected place within the Democrat Party by being their attack dog on gay rights issues, demonizing Republicans and undermining efforts at bipartisanship that would actually improve LGBT Americans lives. We expect this kind of bile from Barney, especially when it plays into the Obama campaign's efforts to divide, distract and deceive the American people....Frank calls us 'Uncle Toms' and pretends that Log Cabin hasn't been on the front lines of the fight for equality. 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."

The remainder of Cooper's lengthy statement, AFTER THE JUMP...

Adds Cooper:

"We never accepted the ban on open service - it was a federal court case brought by Log Cabin Republicans that declared the law unconstitutional, and our direct lobbying efforts in Capitol Hill that secured the necessary Republican votes for repeal. Barney Frank and President Obama didn't ask for Senator Susan Collins's leadership, and they never asked for Republican votes. Log Cabin did....Log Cabin fights every day for equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the workplace - a victory that Democrats delayed by refusing to bring ENDA to a vote when they had the chance and by dismissing the support of conservatives like Congressman Paul Ryan. We had the needed Republican votes to pass ENDA. Barney Frank and his liberal allies chose not to, out of political calculation and cowardice.
 
"Finally, it is simply ridiculous to pretend that Log Cabin Republicans haven't spoken out about the freedom to marry. Between the full page pro-marriage equality ad we ran in the Tampa Tribune, the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry brunch we hosted for Republican National Convention attendees, and our visible and vocal presence at the platform deliberations, our work at the Republican National Convention highlighted marriage as a priority, and our record on this issue is undeniable. Barney conveniently forgets that it was at a Log Cabin Republicans event where Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen became the first Republican to cosponsor the repeal of DOMA, and that it was a promise made to the Log Cabin Republicans of New York that made possible the vote in a GOP-led state senate for marriage in the Empire State.
 
"It has not been the Republican National Committee trying to silence Log Cabin - our voice is indeed welcome within our party, and while we may not win every debate, we are secure in our place at the table. Gay liberals like Barney, however, are trying to silence us, calling us names and ganging up like schoolyard bullies. It doesn't matter. While Barney bashes his fellow LGBT Americans, we'll continue our work building a stronger, more inclusive GOP - and someday soon, we'll win, because inclusion always wins."

We'll be carrying a livestream of Barney Frank's speech tonight - and post the livestream when the DNC gavels in at 5 pm.

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Comments

  1. Look at me, now I am posting as multiple people! Doesn't that make my points ever so much more correct!

    I have AIDS. That is all.

    Posted by: LITTLEKIWI | Sep 6, 2012 4:17:16 PM


  2. Yeah, Jack, tttssscchhhh you know vhat? I won this one. Fine, the Republican platform has 85% other things...vote for them and you can support those things and vote against your rights IN PRIVATE. If you're life and career are built on supporting them, you're doing the opposite of caring about gay equality, because everything about the Republican platform is anti-equality. Therefore one is publicly advocating against one's own rights. Which, if nothing else looks stupid, and defeats any legitimacy you might otherwise have.
    If rich gays want to form some "small government advocacy" group...fine. Until the Republican platform is less anti-gay, that's the only respectable option. (which, btw, government debt NEVER shrinks under modern Republicans...they are always promising it, and never delivering. And we all know that 75% of Repub. are more anti-gay than their platform. Yes, 25% of Democrats might be more anti-gay than THEIR platform...but their platform is a world apart!)

    Remember, you can't be against something and for something at the same time - unless you're Romney! (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/opinion/sunday/a-quantum-theory-of-mitt-romney.html)

    Ok...this troll slayer needs a break...later.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Sep 6, 2012 4:18:18 PM


  3. *elegant curtsy*

    It aint my fault you grown-@ss cowards have to live anonymous lives.

    You should thank me. ;-)

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Sep 6, 2012 4:20:20 PM


  4. @EchtKultig:

    You've won nothing. I am still waiting for an explanation as to how every single part of the GOP platform revolves around the gays.

    Calling someone a troll because they disagree with you? How clever, I've never seen that done before!

    As I've said countless times, I vote Libertarian. I do so because it comports with my beliefs better than either party, but I won't lie: I certainly do get a measure of satisfaction out of spiting people like you who can't deal with the fact that people don't agree with them about everything in any way other than personal attacks.

    Gary Johnson: More pro-equality than YOUR candidate.

    Posted by: Jack | Sep 6, 2012 4:27:12 PM


  5. So, Rick, 85% of Democrats were supporting a gay rights measure, while 15% of Republicans in liberal districts were supporting the same. And yet - the Democrats are the problem. Yeah, I think I get that!
    (you can find plenty of tea party rhetoric on the nets that Olympia Snowe shouldn't even be called a Republican. She seems to agree!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/24/olympia-snowe-war-chest-republican-nominee_n_1449753.html)

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Sep 6, 2012 4:30:01 PM


  6. "the country is arguably more racially polarized than it has ever been."

    What a ridiculous opinion. Are you 12 years old?

    You're right that there was bipartisan support for civil rights for blacks among Republicans, but that was back when there were liberal Republicans. Conservatives, by and large, Dem and GOP, were never on board when it came to racial issues.

    And there was some bipartisan support for gay rights, too, in the 70s. Then along came Anita Bryant and the easy GOP path to victory through division along racial and sexual-orientation issues. The Southern Strategy worked and it's a badge of shame that the GOP will wear for a century. The GOP had a choice: either adapt and create a real, modern conservative party OR retrench and rely on people's prejudices to maintain power. They chose the latter. Not something to be proud of.

    Posted by: BobN | Sep 6, 2012 4:33:26 PM


  7. Keep drinking that Kool Aid, Clarke.

    Posted by: JIM | Sep 6, 2012 4:37:32 PM


  8. "So, Rick, 85% of Democrats were supporting a gay rights measure, while 15% of Republicans in liberal districts were supporting the same. And yet - the Democrats are the problem. Yeah, I think I get that!"

    I did not say "Democrats are the problem." I said gay liberals who want to ghettoize gay people in one single political party are the problem. And that the only way we will achieve the kind of broad, sweeping change that we want will be to have a presence in both parties and support from both parties, recognizing that it is going to take longer to change conservatives and Republicans than it takes to change liberals and Democrats.

    But we still must change them and we cannot do that without some of us engaging them and being in among them.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 6, 2012 4:44:15 PM


  9. Is it just me, or was this the the sleaziest comment thread on the history of TR?? (at least that I've seen)

    Where is Anastasia beaverhausen to take advantage of all this for humour, eh?

    Y'all covered most of the salient points... But you left out on: Fred karger.

    To me, the fact that karger ran as a gay republican showed the best face of what the republican party could become regarding gay issues. But the fact that that the republicans OPENLY discriminated against Karger and kept him from being in the debates, etc., shows how awful the republican party currently IS.

    Let's not lie: the BEST thing for a self-respecting gay republican (presuming such a thing is possible) would be for Romney and Ryan to LOSE!! Then the republicans would need to reevaluate things like their sharp turn to keep scapegoating gay people at the CENTER of their political strategy. Am I wrong?

    Btw, I don't know this cooper guy, but it makes him look bad to denigrate the great Barney frank. If gay republicans are to get respect, they're gonna need a better leader than cooper, sorry.

    Posted by: Just_a_guy | Sep 6, 2012 4:44:16 PM


  10. Jack darling...I don't want you to shed blood for me. Whatever gave you that idea?
    But...I agree with you..."the hated becomes the hater". Please don't be frightened Jack...it's just what happens when you've been spit on, stepped on and shat on forever...just for being gay. I'm not sure what you thought would happen...but turning the other cheek is not my style. You're a delicate creature Jack. I'm not...and don't look back fondly on those days when I was.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Sep 6, 2012 4:47:50 PM


  11. @Just_A_Guy:

    I actually think that's not a bad point. If the Republicans lose and realize that their kowtowing to the religious right and stigmatization of gays and their supporters are costing them valuable votes, it might just force some change. Thanks for that perspective, I hadn't really considered that angle before.

    Of course, my vote for Johnson effectively does that anyway, but a salient point nonetheless, and a compelling argument. Thanks for giving me something to think about in a sane and respectful manner. I do appreciate that.

    Posted by: Jack | Sep 6, 2012 5:05:13 PM


  12. Ah...to be young and naive again. What a luxury!!

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Sep 6, 2012 5:26:12 PM


  13. Elected Republicans who support gay rights should be supported, and there has been solid reach out to Republicans in every state where equality has passed. Those handfuls of votes have been important, but no pro-gay legislation has ever passed without a Democratic majority in power. Those are the facts the gay Repub's can't get around, try as they may.

    BUT the LCR's (GOProud is even worse) deserve little credit for this since they support Republicans regardless of their record on gay rights, and they're consistently (and more and more absurdly, desperately) dishonest about how gay-friendly their beloved party is. The 2012 Republican party is more anti-gay than ever, and the LCR's have utterly failed to move the party toward their positions in decades of lobbying. They're dinosaurs.

    The real lobbying of Republicans is by non-partisan groups who are not under the same delusions as the sad boys and girls of the Republican gay groups. Barney is completely correct.

    Posted by: Ernie | Sep 6, 2012 5:59:43 PM


  14. Well said Ernie!!

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Sep 6, 2012 6:40:16 PM


  15. Oh just shut up already, LCR. Sorry, but I have lost my patience with these people. The Republican party hates you. They "tolerate" you and still want to see you without any rights. What part of that do the LCR not see? Conservative politics is one thing. This is entirely another. The LCR will NEVER (I repeat-NEVER) accept you, so you might as well be pissing in the wind.

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Sep 6, 2012 7:14:52 PM


  16. I should have said 'the Republican party will NEVER accept you".

    And pissing in the wind is a perfect description of the LCR

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Sep 6, 2012 7:15:58 PM


  17. What mystifies me is how anyone who is gay could be a part of the GOP. They offer nothing...nothing to advance gay rights. In my opinion if you what to pursue a fiscally conservative agenda it would be more productive to attempt that through the Democratic Party, they at least seem to be interested in more than one issue and are sufficiently inclusive to be able to accommodate responsibly presented ideas into their platform.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 6, 2012 7:16:48 PM


  18. @Jack: It is hard to keep up with all the insanity on this site, some of it coming from you. My only comment to you is : When you vote Libertarian you are throwing away your vote. Libertarians don't win elections. The next president and members of the Senate and House will be democrats or republicans. Surely one of those parties or some of those candidates is closer to your views than others. So choose. Also, I think that you probably have balls. I get so tired of the Johnny One Note Little Kiwi saying that people who disagree with him have not balls/testicles. He is obsessed with balls. He may have been teabagged by a conservative which might explain his rantings.

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 7, 2012 12:13:38 AM


  19. Jack, I've never in the history of debating seen such a silly move. I tell you it's impossible to be a 100% committed operative for the Republicans (which are all GOPROUD try to be) AND care about gay equality, and you try to tell me since anti-gay hysteria is only a small part of the Republican platform, I must be wrong. THEN you come out as a libertarian! Who votes libertarian! Which is exactly what I said you could do! Because it's not Republican! Of course, libertarianism is a terrible idea that will lead to an environmentally barren Earth and pure, pre-enlightenment economic feudalism. But I can at least say you have the intelligence not to support a party in which about 25% of the members would happily see you burnt at a stake. So, congratulations, you're a small government-favoring gay genius!

    Newflash. Obama will win the election. GoProud will ALWAYS seem like COMPLETE JOKES to everyone but themselves, until the Republican platform is less anti-gay. And that includes ALL non-GOPROUD Republicans. I would LOVE to know some of the jokes they've been the butt of from pernicious little GOP frat boys. I bet they have some good ones.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Sep 7, 2012 5:58:20 AM


  20. Who here has actually met Frank? I have, more than once. The man is an obnoxious ahole.

    Just saying.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 7, 2012 8:52:49 AM


  21. My understanding is Michelangelo Signorile is quite the ahole, too.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 7, 2012 8:54:37 AM


  22. Reading silly fools like Mary or ? or Jack, one resists the urge to be, um, nasty because silly fools either deserve verbal reprimand of the nastiest sort or, failing that, either a slap across the face or a kick in the butt.

    Yes, let's acknowledge that the LCR and some of its minions have been there fighting for civil equality. They deserve credit for the DADT court challenges. They deserve credit for their efforts to challenge DOMA. They've done good work with those issues.

    Having said that, the next question is: which GOP are the LCR identifying with? Surely, there is no way Mary or ? or Jack or any other of the silly fools who claim to be republicon can say they support the current incarnation of the GOP. If they do claim as such, they simply verify that they ARE silly fools. Not to mention, delusional and gluttons for punishment.

    Why, even now I can see the LCR and their contentious sisters-in-arms, the GoProud Girls, swooning, sighing, fainting in ecstasy when one of their republicon stalwarts goes on about "strong national defense", or tax-cuts for the "job creators", or "limited government" or "states' rights" or "personhood amendments" or "constitutional amendment to define marriage as that between one man and one woman" or all those dreamy, peachy-keen, wonderful things that are in this year's GOP platform.

    If Mary or ? or Jack can actually stand up and defend the GOP platform and the hateful, spiteful, bilious stands that it takes on the serious issues of the day, then they deserve ever last bit of venomous commentary that is posted here.

    But, I do remember a different GOP. I remember the GOP of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the GOP of Richard Nixon, the GOP of Gerald Ford, the GOP of Everett Dirksen, back in the days before the poisonous evangelicals or the John Birchers or the seditious Nordquists wrested away the GOP's soul and honour and turned it into what can only be described as a cancerous carbuncle, festering on the American body politic.

    This current GOP means America no good. It offers nothing, and I repeat NOTHING, to anyone of goodwill who just might not wish to vote for Democratic candidates. The irony is that the Democratic Party that a Mary or a ? or a Jack demonizes is a figment of their rightist mentality. That party ceased to exist when Bill Clinton was elected president in 1993.

    The current Democratic party is what the GOP in some ways used to be and what some of the silly fools posting here wish their current GOP might be: sensible, rational, responsible, patriotic and firm in its commitment to the fair and equal treatment of all America's citizens, fairness and equity when striving to fulfill America's economic promise, and help and comfort to the least among us.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Sep 7, 2012 12:19:05 PM


  23. OBVIOUSLY, U. S. Representative Barney Frank DOES NOT KNOW THE DEFINITION OF, "Uncle Tom." AN "Uncle Tom" IS A NEGRO - LIKE, ME - WHO PREFERS CAUCASIANS, RATHER THAN HIS "own kind."

    U. S. Rep. Frank SHOULD HAVE UTILIZED, "Benedict Arnold" IN HIS COMMENTARY.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON | Sep 7, 2012 1:07:13 PM


  24. What is also simply ridiculous is for Cooper to act as though LCR has not engaged in "Uncle Tom-ish" behavior. They weren't being bullied, they were simply being called out....

    Was it not "Uncle Tom-sish" to endorse John McCain in 2008 when he opposed repeal of DADT, LCR's signature issue? We saw how well that worked out for LCR in 2010 with McCain's vociferous efforts to derail repeal.

    Was it not "Uncle Tom-ish" to endorse the republican opponent of the democratic congressman who sponsored DADT repeal in the House? Nobody expects LCR to endorse a Democrat, but Patrick Murphy's opponent would not even go on record as being pro-repeal and LCR endorsed him nonetheless.

    Was it not "Uncle Tom-ish" for Clarke Cooper to join the RNC Finance Committee to raise funds to help elect republicans at the expense of democrats who support gay rights? Sure Clarke says he is raising funds for equality minded republicans, yet the money goes into a central pool, not to the candidates of LCR's choosing.

    Was it not "Uncle Tom-ish" when Clarke Cooper stood up for John Boehner's decision to fight to retain DOMA? “The speaker is doing the right thing for right now." Really, Clarke, what aspect of perpetuating discrimination is right?

    Was it not "Uncle Tom-ish" when Clarke Cooper joined forces with Ken Mehlman to sponsor a fundraiser for Speaker Boehner, a man who has never supported gay equality.

    Was it not "Uncle Tom-ish" for Clarke Cooper to defend Chick-fil-A against LGBT atttacks? Less than a month later Dan Cathy is backpedalling trying to save his college campus expansion plans and NCAA sponsorships because of the light shown on his activities.

    Was it not "Uncle Tom-ish" for Cooper to praise Paul Ryan as gay-supportive when every comprehensive look at Ryan's record and his recent rhetoric says not?

    Was it not "Uncle Tom-ish" for Clarke Cooper to offer as LCR's measure of success at the RNC Convention that they didn't get Slush-eed? You're carrying their tray Clarke, not sitting at their table.

    Will it be anything less than "Uncle Tom-ish" for LCR to endorse a man for President who sees them as not worthy?

    The problem here is that there is a big disconnect in the positions taken by LCR and the actions and words of their Executive Director. The problem may not be the concept that you can be gay and fiscally conservative it might be the way they are being represented by Cooper.

    Posted by: Surely U Jest | Sep 7, 2012 7:17:00 PM


  25. LCR influence Repeal of DADT? Funny, I am military and working side by side with the policy writers of Repeal who worked with the legislators and Joint Chiefs. In our many discussions I have yet to hear anything about the LCR having any kind of influence on Congress. SLDN yes but LCR... NO. The LCR court case was dismissed with the Repeal decision. I was hoping that the court case would still go on and be found unconstitutional so we wouldn't have to ever worry about repeal of the repeal. And why anyone would vote for their own suppression that would take many years to undo... is just dumb. Makes me think that the right wing is just planting people as "gay repubs" to try and persuade others to be like them for the votes. Hmmm, stay away from the Kool Aid!
    OBAMA 2012!!!!!

    Posted by: Chris | Sep 7, 2012 9:11:20 PM


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