Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank
challenged Newt Gingrich to a debate on the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) in his retirement speech.
DOMA, the law that bars federal
agencies and the military from recognizing the legal marriages of gay
and lesbian couples, became law in 1996 while Gingrich served as
Citing redistricting concerns, Frank,
the House's first openly gay member, on Monday announced
he would not seek a seventeenth term in 2012.
Frank said he was looking forward to
seeing Gingrich as the GOP nominee, then challenged him to a debate.
“I did not think I had lived a good
enough life to be rewarded by Newt Gingrich being the Republican
nominee. It still is unlikely, but I have hopes,” Frank told
reporters. “Let me say, for example, I intend to continue to be an
advocate of public policy. I look forward to debating, to take one
important example, the Defense of Marriage Act with Mr. Gingrich. I
think he is an ideal opponent for us, when we talk about just who it
is, is threatening the sanctity of marriage.” (The video is
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