Barney Gets Frank: Prop 8, Gay Republicans, and Kathy Griffin

Just a day after Prop 8 was overturned in California, the Six Pack spoke with Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank about the decision. Oh, and we couldn’t let him go without mentioning gay republicans, weed, gambling, and Kathy Griffin! Click above to listen to the interview.

For those of you who need to do a little current events homework, here’s your CliffsNotes version:

  • Frank has been in Congress for almost 30 years
  • He was the second openly gay member in Congress 
  • He is widely known for his strong defense of civil liberties and legal knowledge
  • He is currently chairman of the the House Financial Services Committee
  • He had a little, um, incident with Kathy Griffin recently

Frank’s reaction to Judge Walker’s Prop 8 decision

“I was happy it was made and I have to tell you I have felt more optimistic because obviously this won’t mean a great deal until it gets to the US Supreme Court….Here is a Republican appointed judge who says…if there’s any rational argument for this, it has to be upheld, and he said there wasn’t any.”

On Obama still being only for civil unions:

“What the President fears, I believe, is that politically it’s not quite safe to be for same-sex marriage. I don’t believe he has any real opposition to it; I think it has been the view, for some time, [that if] you could get elected president, you couldn’t carry states like Missouri and Indiana, and some other very conservative states if you were for same-sex marriage.”

(Click for mp3)

On his decision to come out publicly back in 1987:

“Mostly it was personal. There is this view that some people have, ‘Oh, i wont have a private life.’ People unfortunately don’t engage in most of this craziness today as they did years ago, when I graduated high school in 1957 and the notion of being out was just well beyond what anybody contemplated.”

On the Florida Senate race and whether it is fair to out closeted politicians:

“Well, I won’t comment on individuals. I will say that people who engage in activity themselves, and then who purport to be for outlawing it or treating it fairly are hypocrites.”

On whether sexual orientation is a choice:

“There are still a few morons around who think that your sexual orientation is a choice, although not one of these people can tell me when I asked them when they decided they to be heterosexual. But there are still people dumb enough to believe it.”

On why there are so few gay Republicans:

“There are almost no lesbian Republicans for a lot of reasons, but if you’re a gay Republican, you’re essentially given the rule that its OK, we won’t hold it against you cause you’re gay, cause you couldn’t help it. But if you purport to be happy about it then we’re gonna kick you out.”

On bills he is co-sponsoring to legalize marijuana and online gambling:

“Yes, they will have an economic impact but that’s not my primary motivation….The great mass of human activity ought to be none of the government’s business.  We shouldn’t encourage or discourage it.”

On his spat with Kathy Griffin:

“I was disappointed in her….I’m in agreement with her on a lot of causes…but gratuitously insulting some politician’s children it’s not a useful way to do politics….Scott Brown’s daughters didn’t choose to be in politics and they shouldn’t be targets.”

(Click for mp3)