Retired gay politician turns up to Congress to school newbies over their stupid anti-LGBT law
A retired gay congressman with decades of experience turned up to Congress this week to school lawmakers trying to pass an anti-LGBT law.
Democratic lawmaker Barney Frank had served as a member of the US House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1981 to 2013.
He made history as the first out congressman to be re-elected after opening up about his sexuality in the 1980s, and battled for equality through successive homophobic administrations.
Given his decades of service, you might think that Frank could take a well-earned break – but it turns out he still has to go back to congress to tell off some of the dumb-ass newbies who are trying to pass the same old tired homophobic nonsense.
The retired lawmaker came to Congress to testify against the Republican-backed ‘First Amendment Defense Act’, which aims to water down anti-discrimination laws and guarantee the right to discriminate based on sexuality on the grounds of religion.
Sitting before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the ex-congressman spared no blushes as he meticulously tore the bill and its proponents apart, argument-by-argument and clause-by-clause.
Responding to the bill’s proponent claiming that the bill would not water down LGBT rights protection, Frank hit out at the “meaningless” claim.
He said: “There is no federal legislation, and in many states no other legislation, that protects [LGBT people] against discrimination. So the argument, ‘Oh, you don’t have to worry, because existing statutes aren’t pre-empted’ is irrelevant to many, many Americans who live in places where there is no such statute.”
Demolishing a claim that it couldn’t impact LGBT people looking for homes, he cited specific lines and clauses in the bill that would ban the federal government from refusing funds to developers that plans to exclude same-sex married couples from tenancy on the grounds of religion unless they remain celibate.
When one Republican lawmaker appeared lost at his rapid-fire rebuttal, Frank hit out: “I’m not making this up. I’m reading your bill. So don’t tell me it’s not there.
“If you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, I guess you can move in there if you can prove you’re celibate? That’s an interesting form I’d want to see people fill out.”
He added: “I appreciate this telling us that we should all be nice… I would reciprocate by saying, ‘Yeah, OK, how about being nice to me?’
“This is a legislative enactment that essentially says that the fact that I live in a loving, committed marriage with another man, it somehow affects other people’s freedom. And the Congress has to single that out to act against it.”
JoDee Winterhof of the Human Rights Campaign said: “Members of Congress should hang their heads in shame for attempting to advance this reckless and irresponsible bill that embraces taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people.
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“On any given day, this hearing would be wrong but it is especially deplorable to be considering this legislation on a day that marks just one month since our nation’s deadliest mass shooting left 49 families and friends of LGBTQ people and allies in mourning.
“Meanwhile, these same House leaders refuse to hold hearings on the Equality Act, which would provide comprehensive non-discrimination protections to protect LGBTQ people, or on addressing common-sense gun violence prevention measures.
“This hearing on FADA is not an exercise. It’s a frightening preview of how LGBTQ people would be targeted for discrimination in our federal government if Donald Trump is elected.”
HRC warns: “FADA is tantamount to state-sanctioned discrimination. On its face, this legislation purports to prohibit discrimination by the federal government based on individual beliefs about marriage between loving, same-sex couples. In reality, it would allow individuals, many businesses, and nonprofit organizations — even nonprofit organizations and businesses contracting with the federal government — to circumvent critical federal protections designed to protect LGBTQ families from harmful discrimination.”
Watch a clip via Huffington Post below: