Main | Saturday, September 15, 2012

Barney Frank Vs Homocons, Part 3

Rep. Barney Frank has endorsed the Democratic opponent of Massachusetts homocon House candidate Richard Tisei.
Frank, who is backing fellow Democrat and incumbent Rep. John Tierney in the state’s closely watched 6th Congressional District race, said electing Tisei would ensure Republicans retain control of the U.S. House. That would effectively block any progress on gay rights legislation, Frank said Thursday in a conference call with reporters. Tisei is hoping to oust Tierney. "The fact that Richard Tisei is openly gay is a good thing." Frank said. "The problem is that it is of no use to us." Frank said if Tisei were elected, his first vote would be to keep Republican Rep. John Boehner as House Speaker. Boehner has opposed efforts to repeal the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act that denies tax, health and other benefits to married gay couples. The fact that Tisei supports efforts to repeal the law is beside the point, Frank said. "If he is helping them keep the majority that is irrelevant because the bill will not come up," Frank said.
The Victory Fund, which supports LGBT candidates, is unhappy with Frank's endorsement of the opponent of their choice.
"The Victory Fund was proud to endorse Richard Tisei, and we stand with him as he seeks to represent the people of the 6th District in Washington," said Victory Fund President Chuck Wolfe in a statement. "We need authentic and courageous voices like his and Barney Frank's challenging both parties to change, and advocating for the freedoms all LGBT Americans deserve." Wolfe acknowledged Frank's significance to the broader gay-rights movement, having become the first member of Congress to willingly come out, in 1981. However, Wolfe said change can only come by bringing LGBT voices to the table on both sides of the aisle. "Just as Congressman Frank was able to help persuade Democrats to turn away from an anti-LGBT record over the more than 25 years he served as an openly gay member of the House, we believe Richard Tisei's personal influence in the Republican caucus has the potential to change the hearts and minds of colleagues," Wolfe said. "That is how real change begins."
Tierney has issued a statement in reaction to Frank's backing: "I have continually supported equal rights of all Americans and although we have made significant strides toward equality, we still have a long way to go. I will keep fighting to end discrimination against LGBT Americans."

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