Monday, October 25, 2010

Barney Frank: Obama Should Drop DADT Appeal

Facing his hardest reelection effort next week, openly gay Congressman Barney Frank came on the show this afternoon (full audio below).

He said President Obama "hasn't handled this well," and that he's "been disappointed," referring to the "don't ask, don't tell" debacle. He said he urged the president at a campaign stop in Massachusetts last week not to appeal Judge Virginia Phillips' ruling and injunction ending DADT, arguing that this is a different case than most laws which the administration must defend. Frank believes the president should drop the appeal, especially if Obama does not get a vote in the Senate in the lame duck session of Congress.

On the Employment Non-Discrimination ACT (ENDA), which activists have been promised a vote on for over a year, Frank said the health care bill took up time, then DADT came up, and added also that "the transgender issue is a very difficult issue."

On his own reelection, he said it is the "toughest" challenge he's faced, largely because of the economy and the tea party surge (Scott Brown took his district in the Senate race) and "I need money to win."

On the gay Republican group GoProud, which has launched ads attacking him and backing his Republican opponent (who is opposed to repealing DADT and opposed to marriage equality), he said: "Exactly what is it they are proud of? These are Republicans who think being Republican is more important than LGBT equality...I think there's a truth in advertising problem when they say G-O-P proud. People think that that means they have pride in being gay or lesbian and obviously they don't."