Barney Frank Hub

Barney Frank Speaks Out Against 'Abysmally Ignorant' Ben Carson and Closeted, Anti-gay Politicians: VIDEO


In an interview with CNN's Gloria Borger earlier today, former Rep. Barney Frank touched on a wide range of topics: his early conversations with colleagues on the Hill about his sexual orientation, why he didn't "conform to a gay stereotype," his thoughts on current, closeted gay lawmakers, his incredulity with neurosurgeon Ben Carson's views on homosexuality, why Democrats have a white male problem, and more. 


Continue reading "Barney Frank Speaks Out Against 'Abysmally Ignorant' Ben Carson and Closeted, Anti-gay Politicians: VIDEO" »

Barney Frank Doesn't Know If Aaron Schock Is Gay, But Admits He 'Spends An Awful Lot of Time in the Gym'


Speaking to The Daily Beast's Eleanor Clift this week, former congressman Barney Frank was asked to comment on the "vitriol" directed against anti-LGBT Rep. Aaron Schock in the lead-up to his resignation due to mounting criticism of his lavish spending habits.

Said Frank:

Schock4Here’s the deal, I don’t know if he’s gay or not, but I admit I did say if he’s not gay he spends an awful lot of time in the gym. I don’t know a lot of straight guys who go to the gym and parade around with their shirts off. Generally gay men do that to attract other men. There is a principle that I take credit for enunciating a long time ago: There is a right to privacy but not a right to hypocrisy. You have every right to privacy but you do not have a right to go into public office or any other office and enforce rules that are against your own behavior. During Prohibition the media would hide the fact that prohibitioners were drinkers. What I would say to people is, if a leading anti-abortionist had an abortion, you’d write about it. If Sarah Brady owned an Uzi, you’d write about it—especially now. Maybe 40 years ago—coming out, what a terrible thing. But there is no justification now if you’re gay punishing other gay people for what you’re doing. I don’t know if he is, but that’s the basis for the anger.

Frank went on to say that being an openly gay politician in the Republican Party is "still very, very difficult."

Check out the full interview HERE

Barney Frank on How LGBT People 'Beat the Prejudice' and Changed Hearts By Coming Out: VIDEO

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Former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank appeared on Sunday's episode of Meet The Press and gave his viewpoint on changing attitudes toward LGBT people and Congress. Rep. Frank reasoned that the increasing visibility of LGBT people in everyday culture is because of LGBT people's refusal to stay in the closet, which is helping erase stereotypes and change perceptions.

As for Americans' views on Congress, Rep. Frank told host Chuck Todd that the anger directed toward Congress stems from peoples’ shattered beliefs in a system they truly believed to work.

Watch Rep. Frank elaborate on the two topics, along with how his fellow representatives reacted to his marriage to husband James Ready, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Barney Frank on How LGBT People 'Beat the Prejudice' and Changed Hearts By Coming Out: VIDEO" »

Barney Frank on Using Humor as a Political Weapon: VIDEO


Barney Frank, who is no stranger to using barbed comedy to get his point across, shares his philosophy on the therapeutic and polemic power of humor.

We've also included some of Frank's more memorable televised moments in ridicule for your viewing pleasure.

Check em out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previously in the series: "Barney Frank Explains Why Marijuana Legalization Will Follow In Gay Marraige's Footsteps"

Continue reading "Barney Frank on Using Humor as a Political Weapon: VIDEO" »

Barney Frank Praises Tim Cook for Announcing He's Gay: VIDEO


In an appearance on CNBC this morning following the news that Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay, former Rep. Barney Frank (who also served as chair of the House Financial Services Committee) said he's "grateful" that Cook came out of the closet and explained that legal equality for LGBT people has only come about because people have been open about who they are and told friends, relatives, co-workers, etc.

Frank said the announcement would have wide implications:

"When the man who has been the leader for several years with great success of one of the most important and successful businesses in America, says, 'Oh by the way, you know those people about whom you have these negative feelings, well I'm one of them.' That does such an enormous amount to diminish the negative feelings."

Frank said that Cook was smart to not come out right away when he took over at Apple because it would have clouded perceptions about his performance. Now, of course, with the company's stock near all-time highs, it's very good timing, Frank added:

"Now, it's just indisputable that his sexual-orientation is important to him personally — but that's it's a wholly irrelevant factor economically, and I do believe that will encourage some other people to [come out]."


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Barney Frank Criticizes HRC President Chad Griffin's Apology to the Trans Community for ENDA 2007


In an interview with The GA Voice, Barney Frank sounds off on Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin's recent apology to the transgender community for HRC's endorsement of a stripped down version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act back in 2007 that did not provide gender identity protections alongside sexual orientation.

That bill, introduced by Frank, passed the House 235-184 but was never voted on in the Senate. 

Said Frank:

Chad Griffin’s one of those people whose political judgment seems to be off. The fact is that HRC and I and everybody else were for an inclusive bill in 2007. The issue was we did not have the votes for an inclusive bill. It wasn’t a failure of will. Then the question was, was something better than nothing? Was it better to pass a bill that was protective of lesbian, gay and bisexual people or pass nothing? We tried very hard.

JohnsonPeople have this mistaken view of the civil rights movement and say, ‘Well the black people never compromised, they got the whole thing.’ That is just silly nonsense. The first civil rights bill that was passed in ’57 was fairly moderate but it had some good things, and then one passed in ’60, and then one passed in ’64. People are now saying, ‘Well we don’t want ENDA to be just about employment, we want it cover housing, etc.” Well that national federal civil rights bill that Lyndon Johnson signed in 1964 that we’re all celebrating today didn’t include housing! Housing didn’t come until a separate bill was passed after Martin Luther King was murdered in 1968. The notion that you can win your entire victory at once is historically and politically flawed.

The transgender community had this mistaken view that if Nancy Pelosi waved a magic wand, transgender would be included. And we were insisting to them that, look we don’t have the votes, help us lobby. Instead of trying to put pressure on the people who were against them, they thought they could just insist that we do it. We said, ‘We’re trying, but we need your help.’

Frank goes on in the interview to discuss how the topic of trans rights has come a long way in the seven years since then, as well as reveal what he misses most about being a congressman - the friendships and the ability to influence policy. 

Check out the full interview HERE


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