Barney Frank: Repealing Doma Is ‘Not Achievable’

Health Care Frank

SOUNDBITES — “[Repealing DOMA is] not anything that’s achievable in the near term. I think getting [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act], a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and full domestic partner benefits for federal employees will take up all of what we can do and maybe more in this Congress. … The [certainty] provision that says you can take your benefits as you travel, I think, will stir up unnecessary opposition with regard to the question of are you trying to export it to other states. If we had a chance to pass that, it would be a different story, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to rekindle that debate when there’s no chance of passage in the near term.” —Rep. Barney Frank, who opted not to co-sponsor Rep. Jerry Nadler’s Respect for Marriage Act, on why the current DOMA repeal effort is doomed

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  • Bob R

    Given the current mood of the country and the level of hate and vitriol being expended on the right, I must reluctantly agree with Mr. Frank. If ENDA can be passed and DADT repealed, DOMA will eventually fall. The major effort for the gay community is to get as many progressive candidates elected as possible. Every DINO should have a primary challenger and politicians should be put on notice that they can no longer take our vote for granted.

  • ChristopherM

    Barney Frank always wants us to wait on everything. That’s been his strategy since he was forced out of the closet, so I don’t take what he has to say on this very seriously…he’s so predictable.

  • Cam

    He’s been saying the same thing for 15 years now. The fact of the matter is…the bill to repeal DOMA has over 90 co-sponsors. Even if the thinks that it is not going to win, as a gay man who supposedly wants gay rights, it wouldn’t hurt him AT ALL to sign on as a co-sponsor since nearly 100 of his fellow Congressmen and women have.

    I can think of only two reasons for him not to.

    1. the White House has told him to be “A Good Gay” and give them cover by roadblocking anything like this.

    2. he is being pouty and bitchy because he is pissed that as “The Only Gay” HE should have all gay rights bills go through him. Since this one didn’t he is pitching a hissy fit and refusing to sign on.

    Again, Frank lives in a protected bubble, gay issues don’t effect him, he is a Congressman and nothing that happens in the real world of gay rights hurts him. He is Just like Mary Cheney, she and her girlfriend had a baby together and live in Va. which DOESN’T allow gay adoptions or agreements between same sex couples…but of course that has no effect on the daughter of Dick Cheney.

  • Bill Perdue

    Barney Frank: Repealing Doma Is ‘Not Achievable’

    I suppose it’s not if your goal is to sell out at the expense of the movement.


  • M Shane

    Frank is just being realistic; look at the bullshit that is being thrown at the Healthcare Bill; his judgement is determoined by how many votes he figures they can get. This is the simple reason why Obama won’t preempt the Congress in making presumptuous decisions.
    The last count I heard a month or so ago , there was 1/3 of both houses commited against DOMAS repeal.
    Get what we can.

  • jwalker666

    I don’t know what these politicans are waiting for. They need to push all of these things through congress BEFORE the 2010 elections. ENDA, repel of DADT and the DOMA needs attention now, not later. If things continue to go like they are, in 2010 the republicans WILL pick up seats in the house and senate. In fact, its not if, its when they pick up seats, we just have to see how many. Then we can kiss all of that goodbye. Not to mention, depending on who runs against Obama in 2012, we may be back to the days of republican control of the white house and congress. Lets just hope Sarah Palin runs, that way Obama is guaranteed to win. I am hoping I am wrong, but judging from the past, in the mid term elections the party in power ALWAYS looses seats. in the next year the Dems have their 60 seats, so they need to move it on the gay issues before it’s too late and we have to wait 20 years to get equality.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    Shorter version: Democrats are pussy ass bitches who think queers are nasty.

  • InExile

    @Bill Perdue: Agree Bill. Barney is just being a sell out. If he really wanted to support equality, he would have co-sponsored the bill. If the bill can pass is not the point, it is a matter of principal, he screwed us. So screw him!

    I love the talk about “domestic partnership benefits” for federal employees, what happened to the rest of us? Another Obama promise not mentioned since the day he was elected. What happened to Civil Unions with full Federal benefits Obama loved to promise during the election?

  • Fitz

    I just don’t care about the DNC anymore. I have been able to vote here for… yesh… since Carter? And I am all done.. All done voting for the guy who hates me a tiny bit less.

  • schlukitz


    Well, as we have all been informed (so often and tenaciously), there are several possible reasons for Mr. Obama’s seeming lack of inertia on any of the issues he posted on

    1) He has a secret plan.

    2) He has a full plate at the moment

    3) The economy takes precedence over the civil-rights of tax-paying, American Citizens.

    4) Energy and environmental issues are more pressing than same-sex marriage.

    5) Protecting Americans from “Terrorism” is of vital interest. Read failure to withdraw from Iraq and the escalation of war in Afghanistan.

    6) He wants to uphold the letter of the law.

    7) He respects the Constitution.

    8) It is up to the Senate and Congress to make critical decisions.

    9) The time is not right.

    10) He doesn’t want to offend members of the religious right.

    11) He’s already given us the Easter Egg Hunt and the Tea Party. What does it take to satisfy us?

    12) It’s not good for the security of the country to drop DADT.

    13) He believes that marriage is “between one man and one woman”.

    14) Da bible says homosexuality is wrong.

    15) We impatient gays are not cutting Obama any slack.

    16) The batteries in our hearing aids are in need of replacement

  • Attmay

    Uncle Barney is not our hero. He didn’t come out: he was forced out by a scandal. When is it “the right time,” when there are no problems anywhere else on Earth? I am unable to find a concrete answer on how much time of total world peace in recorded human history has gone by, and I’m guessing it’s pretty close to zero.

    Uncle Barney Frank is only watching out for Uncle Barney Frank.

  • WillBFair

    When is it the right time? That’s easy. It’s right when the public is in our favor, as they are on domestic partnership. But we couldn’t take an easy victory on that because the victim complex crowd would rather feel sorry for themselves. It’s so much more fun to play the martyr and denounce our friends as if they were demons from hell come to swipe our last appletini.
    It would also be right if we could build some momentum with a few victories. Domestic partnership might have been a start. But we couldn’t do that because the commnunity prefer the self righteous pose.
    Politicians can’t do much for us when we’re shooting ourselves in the foots at every opportunity.
    For fifteen years, the polls have shown the public are sentimental about marraige. Get over it and adjust our strategy.
    The majority have made a huge concession by supporting domestic partnership. We should be dancing in the streets. Instead, we’re crying because Barney can’t kiss the boo boo and make it all better.
    Please. Cut Le Barnicle a break. He’s just a politician making political calculations based on the available evidence. We should try it sometime.

  • WillBFair

    I know it’ll come as a shock to the mainstream crowd. But politicians are neither saints nor leather pigs following orders in full harness.
    Sometimes they can talk the constituents into things, and sometimes they can weasel a good outcome. But those are exceptions to the rule. For the most part, they have to follow public opinion. And Barney doesn’t represent Castro Street. He represents his State, which has a few more straights than queers.

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