Barney Frank Predicts the Future! Get Your Free Readin’!

We love it when politicians try to look into their crystal balls and predict what the future will look like — because, when those scenarios don’t play out, we get to point back at their statements and call them liars! Except Rep. Barney Frank thus far has a pretty decent record with tea leaves. Back in September, for example, he insisted repealing the Defense of Marriage Act is “not anything that’s achievable in the near term.” ‘Twas right! So what do Barney’s tarot cards say about other gayish stuff?

When Congress will pass ENDA and repeal DADT: This year, maybe. “I think we have a very good chance of passing [ENDA] and repealing gays in the military. Public opinion is clearly moving in our direction, especially [ among the younger generation ] . The younger people, [ they are ] the key to [ repelling “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ] . Younger people today are much less prejudice.”

When LGBT battles will be “substantially over”: Less than 20 years. By then, “I think [ LGBT issues ] will be substantially over; that is, we will have full legal equality. It may even be less if we make the same rate of progress.”

When we’ll finally have no LGBT battles to fight: In 38 years. “I see a parallel, to some extent, with anti-Semitism. When I was graduating from high school in 1958, anti-Semitism also loomed as an obstacle for my career plans. But that’s gone now [ for the most part; ] it’s not an obstacle.”

When little gay boys and girls will have an out professional athlete to look up to: Within 10 years. “Sure, there is this problem of intimacy in the locker room, so that’s why it’s going to be one of the last places [ to welcome the LGBT community ]. I think you’ll probably see more ex-athletes coming out and, as that happens, then it will be possible for current athletes to come out.”

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #politics #barneyfrank #don'taskdon'ttell(dadt) stories and more


  • romeo

    Seems like reasonable prognostication. And it’s nice and upbeat. Thanks, Barney.

  • Cam

    And the sky is blue, and grass is green.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    Perhaps Queerty the reason “Back in September, for example, he insisted repealing the Defense of Marriage Act is “not anything that’s achievable in the near term.” ‘Twas right!” is because Frank DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO ADVANCE REPEALING DOMA.

  • Forrest

    We will never be a nonissue, too much bigotry disguised as “faith” is ingrained across wide swaths of the country.

    I do agree that some vitriol will abate over time and 20 years is a fair timeline in regards to full legal equality.

    Culturally,racism is still pervasive in American society and segregation laws were knocked down long ago, so there is no near future for this country being post homophobic.

  • Chris

    Lets focus on getting rid of organized religion across the globe. A lot of hate stems from that. I don’t know any major religion that isn’t using us as their excuse to hate.

  • Fitz

    Well, I guess I am darker..
    How long before genetic markers are used for selective abortions on gay-destined fetuses?
    and How long until a new virus or bacteria shows up in our community?

  • Aaron Rowland

    Sounds about right to me. Hopefully it’ll be more like 15, and not 20.

  • damien

    @Chris: That is never going to happen; at least not in this lifetime.

  • Dasher

    Barney is probably right, including about athletes in the locker room.

    But players were kissing each other on the lips on the Seattle team bus 20 years ago, or whenever Jim Bouton wrote “Ball Four”.

    And (presumably straight) New Hampshire State Troopers were performing oral sex on each other on a chartered bus on the way to a Patriots game a couple of years ago.

    Alcoholic beverages might have played a part in that one, or chalk it up to the magical effect motor coaches have on the psyche.

  • gomez

    @Chris. Getting rid of organized religion is not a reasonable goal. i doubt it will ever be. come back to earth.

  • choops

    im happy he has hope, but leaving it up to the future doesnt work for me, especially in the dismal year of 2030, when ill be old and probably even more of a cynic if im still commenting on queerty about my rights.

  • Scott

    >> I see a parallel, to some extent, with anti-Semitism…

    Today many large businesses are run by Jewish people. Gay people need to become heads of companies that affect mainstream culture.

    >> Sure, there is this problem of intimacy in the locker room ..

    No there isn’t. Just like always. Gay people don’t have problems with themselves nor with behaving. It’s other people who have problems with gay people and can’t behave themselves. I laugh when they say they can’t repeal DADT in order to protect gay people. No, anyone who assaults another needs to go to the brig! If you can’t behave in the locker room then you’re thrown off the team.

  • Mike Hipp

    I’m with #5 Chris. Religion is the root of, minimum, 75% of the vitirol that is directed towards fags. Get rid of organized religion and you get rid of hatred in less than a generation.

  • missanthrope

    I things will generally improve but that full legal equality will not be a panacea for us even though it’s the most important issue right now. For example, race or womens issues are thousand times better than they were in 1964, but fifty years of feminism or the Civil Rights Bill haven’t extinguished racism or sexism.

    But the tide is turning, the battles of tomorrow will be minor and easy compared to now.

  • Hyhybt

    But we don’t *want* to “repeal[] gays in the military” :)

    Lets focus on getting rid of organized religion across the globe. A lot of hate stems from that. I don’t know any major religion that isn’t using us as their excuse to hate.

    Funny how your last sentence grasps what’s really going on so well, yet the rest pretends it’s the other way around. People use religion as an excuse to hate people they’d hate anyway. That’s a reason to change the hateful people, not to ban religion. After all, many loving people are believers of one stripe or another as well.

    How long before genetic markers are used for selective abortions on gay-destined fetuses?

    Realistically, there won’t be much of that going on. As with most gay-related issues, it’s primarily a matter of demographics. By the time such a test is practical, if it ever is, most people of child-bearing age will see being gay as no big deal…. and the ones who still think it *is* will mostly also be “pro-life.”

  • romeo

    @ Fitz #6 & Hyhybt #15: The current research, which was neatly encapsulated in the Barrowman special on BBC recently, indicates that there are several biological causes that work either individually or in tandem to create our beloved difference. Some may be genetic and some may be caused by a variety of circumstances in the womb. It’s not a “one thing” causes it, which would certainly explain why we are so different within the group. In any case, it doesn’t look likely that there will be an effective enough indicator to eliminate our future generations. In fact, Nature seems damned persistent about us. LOL (There’s a book title, “Is Nature Gay?”)

  • Hyhybt

    @romeo: I know that, which is why I put “if it ever is.” I didn’t include all the explanation you have because it wasn’t necessary for the point I was making, which was that even if there is such a marker, whether it guarantees gayness or is simply a “risk” factor, by the time it’s found and a test is readily available it won’t much matter.

  • romeo

    Hyhybt: my response was more directed at Fitz, I was just backing you up.

    Bottom line, by the time parents can know for sure, their kid is already on Santa Monica Boulevard. :D

  • Hyhybt

    @romeo: My apologies! I’ve been treated like a complete idiot in at least two other Queerty threads this morning, one by someone who can’t be bothered to type whole words and who thinks 1970 was only fifteen years ago, so I was kinda stuck in defensive mode.

  • romeo

    No problemo, Hyhybt.

  • Michael

    On prediction not covered by Frank here is: When will gay and lesbian couples not have to pay taxes on their domestic partners health benefits? Frank, one of the most powerful congressmen, had an opportunity to influence the President on the health care bill just signed and he squandered it.

    See for yourself. This was printed on the first page of the New York Times on Sunday March 21:
    “On Jan. 21, Representative Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat and a powerful committee chairman, headed to the White House for a banking industry announcement. He had been openly skeptical about the prospects for the health measure. Mr. Obama pulled him aside. “He said, ‘I have to talk to you,’ ” the congressman recalled. “He was very passionate about it, and he convinced me that we could put some fixes in.”

    Why didn’t Frank right in there say Mr. President, I’ll support you but I need you to put these LGBT Tax Equality fixes in also, that were passed in the House version of the bill but not in the Senate’s.

  • jeffree

    Anytime anyone is optimistic or pessimistic s/he relies on assumptions. I want Barney Frank to be right, but I continue to see racism, sexism, anti-semitism & homophobia all over the place. Although laws & rules r in force vs. racial/ religious/ gender discrimination, you still see day to day, blatant efforts to put down Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, & women, Stereotypes are everywhere, so is discrimination. The religious right & “afternoon tea fanciers” are getting louder & louder.

    Three steps forwards may mean two steps back. It’s like we are waltzing or doing the polka, not marching in a forward direction!

    Even when laws vs. Discrimination are in place, theyre not consistantly or reliably enforced. Attitudes change slowly…. And may swing back & forth wildly & unpredictably,

    My personal belief is that younger people are learning 2 accept differences but that their attitudes might harden into hatered as they get older. I sure hope not.

    My point is that laws are a first step, not the only step. neccessary but not sufficient. Ideaology & supersticion (religion !!) appear 2 be getting worse & worse.

    The lack of civillity & the exccess rage in the USA healthcare debate (add gay marriage or DADT, or ENDA to that steaming pile soon!!) seem 2 be indicators of the *political temperature* RISING not falling.

    That all makes me worry that discussions on fairness or justice or rights will get more polarised, and nothing will happen.
    Sad to say but may be things get worse before they get better??

Comments are closed.