Rep. Barney tells gays ‘Don’t bother marching’
Congressman Barney Frank on Wednesday told the gay community not to bother going to this weekend’s National Equality March on Washington.
Speaking to OutQ’s Michelangelo Signorile, Frank said if the goal of this weekend’s march is to pressure congress, then it is “wholly unnecessary.”
Frank: If you do want to pressure congress, I don’t know what standing on the mall on a weekend when no members of Congress are in town, is going to to. All that’s going to pressure is the grass. If you want to pressure members of Congress, you call them up.”
Frank said gay rights supporters would be better off spending their time and money lobbying their lawmakers from home, rather than traveling to DC. He also said there are already timelines in place for the all of the realistic LGBT legislation currently before Congress. Frank says he expects the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to go to the Senate next year. But on those bills, Frank says some more lobbying might be needed.
Frank: “We’re not at all certain of the 60 votes we need. So if people have only one thing they can do on behalf of LGBT rights, it’s to call the Senator from their state and any other friends they have to call their Senators.”
Regarding the Federal Hate Crimes bill, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, Frank said he expects that legislation to be on the President’s desk by the end of this month.