Retiring Massachusetts Rep. Barney
Frank says President Barack Obama's support for gay marriage helped
him get reelected.
The 72-year-old Frank has the
distinction of being the first openly gay member of Congress and the
first to enter a marriage with a member of the same sex.
While Frank won't return next year, he
commented on Tuesday's historic elections with Salon.com's Alex
“I was very happy,” he said of the
returns. “I expected good news, but wasn't planning on perfect
Voters on Tuesday elected at least six
and as many as seven openly LGBT candidates to Congress, including
the nation's first senator, and handed wins to gay marriage
supporters in four states.
“It's a significant increase. And
then to win all four of the referenda? It was very good news.”
“I think what it shows is that
reality beats prejudice. When you're fighting against
discrimination, you're in a kind of a vicious cycle. People are
prejudiced so you can't change the law, and because you can't change
the law, there's no way to break the prejudice. In other words,
people are told same-sex marriage will cause all these terrible
problems. Once you have same-sex marriage, it's very clear it causes
zero problems. So trying to break out of that cycle is important.
But we've now, I think, reached critical mass to break out of that
“There's another important factor:
Barack Obama won a tough race, and the fact that he supported
same-sex marriage almost certainly helped him and didn't hurt him.
There was no sign that coming out for same-sex marriage in any way
hurt Barack Obama,” Frank