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  • « When comedy can't imitate life | Main | The week on GNW (March 14-20) »

    March 15, 2010

    Don't Ask, Don't Hold Your Breath

    Posted by: Chris

    Barney frank house chairman gay rights dont ask dont tell
    Stop me if you've heard this before. Once again, Democrats in Congress are blaming President Obama for putting the brakes on Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal, as if the White House introduces legislation that the House and Senate can then vote on.

    This time around, the finger-pointer is none other than Barney Frank, he that refuses to co-sponsor repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, in an interview with The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld:

    But just as the White House has pushed other legislation into the forefront only to back away and watch the congressional fireworks from afar, so it seems to be with ending the military’s gay ban. As Rep. Barney Frank told me Friday, “I’m disappointed with the administration talking about delaying legislation for a year. But I’m working with Patrick Murphy [the lead sponsor of the House repeal bill] on it and I’m hoping we can push ahead.”

    Frank has pinpointed the National Defense Authorization Act as “the only vehicle” for overturning the ban legislatively. When I noted that the White House has failed to designate the defense authorization bill over a stand-alone bill as its preferred method for repealing the policy, Frank responded, “That’s because they don’t want it done this year, not because they want it done separately.”

    Yes, it's frustrating and disappointing that the president hasn't continued to push DADT repeal as companion legislation for the just-launched Pentagon review of the gays in the military issue. And yes, that Pentagon review could have been been launched a year ago.

    But why does Barney Frank, of all people, need leadership from the White House to get the ball rolling on including DADT repeal in the Defense Authorization bill. Is this the same openly congressman who controls the fate of financial reform legislation from his post as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee?

    Barney frank finger pointing Stop pointing the finger, Barney. Tell the president his Wall Street reform goes nowhere without a full-court press from the White House for including DADT repeal in Defense Department bill. 

    Barney and Andrew Tobias and the gay Democratic elite have been telling us for years that if they controlled Congress, gay rights bills would receive a big push. When they won control in 2006, they said the big push would have to wait until a Democrat won the White House.

    Enough with the waiting, and enough with the finger-pointing. Show some leadership, Barney. It's your civil rights at issue here, not Barack Obama's. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

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    Comments

    1. Lucrece on Mar 15, 2010 8:54:50 PM:

      He was an establishment politician before he was a gay one, so it's not surprising he's in it for the partisanship and perpetual power.

      Personally I'm hoping someone will prove him wrong and unseat him.

    1. Michael on Mar 15, 2010 11:36:53 PM:

      Actually, Barney Frank is a cosponsor of H.R. 1283 (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:HR01283:@@@P), entitled "To amend title 10, United States Code, to enhance the readiness of the Armed Forces by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

      What he isn't doing, however, is using his clout to push it out of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, where it has been languishing for almost a year.

    1. bhamgay on Mar 21, 2010 3:30:18 AM:

      Maybe Cong. Frank needs the president's vocal support and public pressure in order to get his weak-kneed cohorts in Congress to vote on it (the right way). He can only do so much himself, even though he has a powerful chairmanship. But, no, he doesn't need to publicly excoriate the president on this. That will only sour things.

    1. Chris on Mar 22, 2010 6:51:31 PM:

      @Michael: I didn't say Barney wasn't co-sponsoring DADT repeal. I said he has refused to co-sponsor repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.

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      I don't like him!!!

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