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Barney Frank Would Stop Obama from Signing Executive Order Barring LGBT Workplace Discrimination

SiriusXM radio host Michelangelo Signorile spoke with former Congressman Barney Frank at the recent Netroots Nation annual progressive activist conference, and Frank flipped his position on urging Obama to sign an executive order barring workplace discrimination, the HuffPost reports:

Frank“I would have him not sign it yet,” Frank said. “There’s a lot of attack on him for exceeding executive power and doing things by executive order. And he’s in a major fight over that about to come now, where he’s about to issue an executive order restricting emissions from power plants. And there’s even a danger that this right-wing [Supreme] Court would overturn that as too far. I would say this: push to take back the House from the right-wing, and if that happens, then we should push for it to be legislated, because if it’s legislated, then it’s for everybody. If we don’t take the House back, then before he goes out of office, he should do it. But I would ask him to -- I would want him to hold off now and give us a chance to do this legislatively. But that will depend on the next election.”

Signorile notes that Frank signed a letter in April last year from House lawmakers urging Obama to sign.

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  1. Why does everyone talk like an executive order and legislation preventing workplace discrimination is mutually exclusive? Obama should obviously sign an executive order and then a more far reaching and permanent bill follow as soon as possible.

    Posted by: JMC | Jun 24, 2013 12:00:55 PM

  2. Listen to Frank on this one. I think the Courts are in the mood to reign in executive orders in general, and it would be a disaster if a gay rights order was overruled by courts.

    Posted by: Kyle | Jun 24, 2013 12:03:54 PM

  3. Listen to Frank on this one. I think the Courts are in the mood to reign in executive orders in general, and it would be a disaster if a gay rights order was overruled by courts.

    Posted by: Kyle | Jun 24, 2013 12:03:54 PM

  4. I agree. There's a small contingent of folks here who scream like babies when they don't GET what they want WHEN they want it. And then they soak all their comments in self-rightous sanctinonious gook because they're always on the side of the angels.

    Our time will come. And the screaming babies will just have to be left screaming.

    Posted by: will | Jun 24, 2013 12:14:12 PM

  5. and this is why I don't trust Frank

    He's a shill for the president uninterested in equality

    This is not the first time he choose party over equality

    Posted by: Factoids | Jun 24, 2013 12:15:19 PM

  6. "This is not the first time he choose party over equality"
    What he chose is to acknowledge political reality, which he understands completely.

    Posted by: DG | Jun 24, 2013 12:24:53 PM

  7. Frank's point is the President shouldn't do this before the midterms on the chance that Dems could take back the House (and that issuing an exec order would seriously threaten that). If Dems do take back the house (and hold the Senate), then ENDA can be passed in 2015, and workplace protections will be in place for all, for all time. Frank's point is that, issuing the exec order would protect Fed workers and contractors, but that's only a fraction of everybody who needs such protection, and it would likely be overturned on the first day of the next Repubilican presidency.

    This is a reasonable strategic position, which people can argue about. Frank is certainly in a better position than 99.99% of the country to make such an assessment.

    Posted by: Bob R | Jun 24, 2013 12:27:52 PM

  8. Factoids, if the Democrat Party is not in power than we have no equality. It's not Barney choosing his party, it's Barney doing what he thinks is best for equality. Democrats in power to pass this legislatively is the best option, he is right.

    Posted by: Larry | Jun 24, 2013 12:28:34 PM

  9. Frank is right on this. Although he's still a miserable POS.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 24, 2013 12:32:41 PM

  10. Why wasn't ENDA passed when DADT was repealed?

    Posted by: Anthony | Jun 24, 2013 12:34:26 PM

  11. I found the title of this post quite misleading. Kinda freaked out that Barney Frank was against LGBT discrimination ban...

    After reading the article however, I do agree with him. Win the house first, then you won't need to sign so many Executive Orders insuring basic human right to all Americans. For as we know, the GOP does not think those rights are a given in America today.

    Posted by: Maguitac | Jun 24, 2013 12:34:54 PM

  12. God, will he ever go away? Stop "helping", Barney.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Jun 24, 2013 1:38:19 PM

  13. The people who hate Obama will hate him no matter what he does, so what's the difference?

    Posted by: Jack M | Jun 24, 2013 2:13:45 PM

  14. Its politics people. I HATE IT! I hate having to gauge the fight. Putting your head in the sand and simultaneously demanding what you want is not a way to achieve results.

    Sure, Obama can issue an executive order. The more he does that, the more the Right will push back. It doesn't preclude him from doing it, but in the current environment, modest gains made by the President can turn into oppoisitional law either in Congress or through the courts. Since the Right is screaming he is doing too much through executive order (even tho he has signed fewer EOs than Bush), politically it can backfire on us as a community.

    I HATE having to do this and Barney is the queen of doing stuff like this... But in this case, I think Barney is right. I can't believe I just typed that.

    Posted by: Jay | Jun 24, 2013 2:19:43 PM

  15. Listen closely to elected officials once they're out of office. They're more likely to tell you hard truths.

    Posted by: reader | Jun 24, 2013 3:05:41 PM

  16. Anything done by executive order outside of war a Presidents war powers is wrong and un-enforcible if challenged by the Supreme Court. Our Constitution is very clear that Congressis the only branch of our government with the power to create law. The power to create law has gradually been transferred since Lincoln to the executive via agencies through congress. More law is created by the executive branch today than by congress in direct opposition to our Constitution. There are 250,000 federal employees who's only job it is to create regulations and rules that have the power of law under the executive branch. This is how a Dictator rules not a republic. If LGBT rights are to be properly protected there needs to be protections extended by congress or through challenges in the courts.

    If you want Obama to extend protections through executive order don't complain when a very conservative President reverses it and makes it a federal offense for two men or two ladies to show public affection. It's bad law and a bad precedent.

    Posted by: Jason B. | Jun 24, 2013 3:28:45 PM

  17. Frank understands how the law and politics work better than most people in the business. His opinion is definitely one to be considered.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Jun 24, 2013 4:17:22 PM

  18. He was also against gay marriage being passed in Massachusetts. What horrible events occurred by that happening? Nothing. Frank is always on the other side.

    Posted by: Name: | Jun 24, 2013 4:45:00 PM

  19. ENDA is a non issue in the elections

    70-80 of the public support it

    Including many conservatives

    Its b.s. to claim its a factor

    Posted by: Factoid | Jun 24, 2013 5:53:27 PM

  20. Just sign the order, and let everyone else respond how they will.

    Get it done.

    Posted by: Randy | Jun 24, 2013 6:21:52 PM

  21. Finally someone gets it. An executivce order is a waste of time.

    Posted by: FakeOutrage | Jun 24, 2013 6:37:59 PM

  22. I think Mr Frank's suggested strategy makes good sense.

    Posted by: andrew | Jun 24, 2013 7:02:57 PM

  23. If you are going to argue his statements make sense, you need to explain why 70 percent support ENDA in any form already rather than repeat your talking points.

    Posted by: Factoid | Jun 24, 2013 7:38:43 PM

  24. Frank needs to feel relevant. I'm sure he misses Washington. His marriage may be a bit stale. Barney can chew your ears off.

    Posted by: GB | Jun 24, 2013 8:40:49 PM

  25. @Factoid While 70% of the public may support it the unfortunate fact is the percentage of people they vote into office that support it is far lower with almost no Republican supporting it.

    Posted by: doug105 | Jun 24, 2013 9:02:38 PM

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