Oh the stories Barney Frank could tell...
New York Magazine interviewed out-gay Congressman Barney Frank for a piece released on Sunday.
Check out what Barney has to say regarding the importance of getting married while in office and the progress of the gay rights movement after the jump.
Here's an excerpt from the New York Magazine interview:
“So are you going to get married while you’re still in office?
Yes, in July.
You say you’re not doing it just to make a point, but is there any benefit?
There’s an unintended benefit. I want to get married. I do think, to be honest, if I was running for reelection, I might have tried to put the marriage off until after the election, because it just becomes a complication. But I did want to get married while I was still in office. I think it’s important that my colleagues interact with a married gay man.
Has the speed with which gay marriage is being accepted surprised you?
It’s pleasantly surprised me. I filed the first gay-rights bill in the history of Massachusetts in 1972. At any time in the past 40 years, if you had asked me to project the progress two or three years out, I would have been too pessimistic. It’s moving very rapidly. And I think within ten years, we’re going to have pretty close to full legal equality for gay and lesbian people in much of America. There still won’t be marriage rights, I believe, in many states, but there will be marriage rights in states that are at least half of the population, and there’ll be no federal restriction on recognizing that. It’s moved very quickly.
I read somewhere a few years ago that when you were done here, you planned to write a book on the gay-rights movement.
My career and the gay-rights movement are serendipitously coterminous, to use too many big words. I worked for the mayor of Boston in the late sixties, and my bailiwick was, among other things, liberal issue groups. There was no gay-rights activity in Boston at the time none and I guarantee you that because, as a closeted gay man, I was hoping to meet other gay people. It would have been a twofer for me. It didn’t happen. I went off to work in Washington for a year in 1971, and I came back to Massachusetts in 1972 and there was a gay-rights movement. Very few political movements in America have as clear-cut a starting line as the gay-rights movement with Stonewall. There were some very brave people before, but Stonewall really did crystallize it. I did not set out to be the crusader. But I realized that I could not honorably walk away from this.
Here’s what happened: In 1972, the gay-rights groups in Massachusetts jointly sent out a questionnaire to everybody running for the state legislature that year to ask, “Would you sponsor a gay-rights bill?” And I was the only one that said yes, so I became the gay-rights leader.”
Barney delves more deeply into his role as a gay trailblazer and touches on Hillary Clinton, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle and much more.
Check out New York Magazine’s full interview, here!
Definitely worth the read.