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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Barney Frank slams the National Equality March

Yikes. I suspect he's never criticized other marches for progressive causes. But then, other marches aren't as politically costly for the Democratic Party.

Rep. Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of Congress, says he'd rather see gay rights supporters lobbying their elected officials than marching in Washington this weekend, calling the demonstration "a waste of time at best."

Frank , in an interview with The Associated Press, said he considers such demonstrations to be "an emotional release" that does little to pressure Congress.

"The only thing they're going to be putting pressure on is the grass," the Massachusetts Democrat said Friday. [...]

But Frank said the real problem is gathering enough votes in the House and Senate to win passage of anti-discrimination legislation.

Gay rights advocates should borrow from the playbooks of the two most effective interest groups, the National Rifle Association and the AARP, said Frank.

"Call or write your representative or senator, and then have your friends call and write their representative or senator," Frank said. "That's what the NRA does. That's what the AARP does."

Congress is on the verge of making it a federal crime to assault people because of their sexual orientation. The so-called hate crimes legislation was attached to a major defense bill approved by the House.

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