A gay politician has claimed that gay men who are planning to vote for the Republican nominee for President of the United States “personally don’t experience much gay discrimination.”
In an interview with Mile High Political Views, an LGBT blog, Congressman Barney Frank said that only Democratic nominee Barack Obama is committed to removing “some of the inequalities we face.”
Speaking at the Democratic National Convention, the Massachusetts Congressman said this week’s events will be “an affirmation of the biggest difference between the two parties.”
“If Obama wins and we have a Democratic majority in the House and the Senate, we will see legislation that will remove some of the inequalities we face,” he said.
“That is one of the biggest differences between the parties.
“McCain is committed to perpetuating all of the legal inequalities.”
Asked his view on a recent poll that found 68% of gay and lesbian voters support Obama and 10% support McCain, Congressman Frank said:
“The distinctions are very clear.
“The 10%, I think, essentially reflects people who are gay mostly, very few lesbians: I think this is one where you are mostly talking about men whose own lives are such that they personally don’t experience much gay discrimination.
“And many of them also tend to be upper income.
“Obviously not all gay people are rich but, as with any group, we have an element who are wealthy and I think they are voting their pocketbook to a great extent because they are not themselves facing discrimination.
“In cases where there are partners, they both have healthcare. Some of the material aspects of discrimination, many of these people are immune from them.”
Congressman Frank said a priority for an Obama presidency would be to sign the hate crimes bill, which has been passed by both houses of Congress.
He added that the Employment Non Discrimination Act still presented “a political problem.”
It was originally designed to make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or promote a person based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The decision to remove trans people from the scope of the legislation caused anger among the LGBT community in the US, with many demanding an “all or nothing” stance.
“The question now is whether enough lobbying has been done to include people who are transgender,” Congressman Frank said.
“We need more lobbying on that. We had a very good hearing on that issue and it helped. Previously, we were running into problems getting it out of committee, and I think the hearing we had a major impact on that. It also depends on if we get more Democrats.”
All of the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate will be up for election on November 4th, the same day as the Presidential election.
“If we can pick up 15 Democratic seats, then I think we are in a good position to pass a transgender-inclusive ENDA,” Congressman Frank said.
He added that the removal of the ban on openly gay people serving in the US military “is important, but I think that the first thing that the new president will have to do is set us on the course to get out of Iraq. There are only so many things we want to test the military with.”