Openly gay Massachusetts Congressman
Barney Frank says repeal of the federal gay marriage ban DOMA will
come after passage of a gay protections bill, but neither will occur
in the near term.
Frank is expected to reintroduce his
Employment Non-Discrimination Act on Wednesday.
in a candid interview with gay weekly Metro Weekly, the
70-year-old lawmaker conceded his bill, which would ban workplace
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
(transgender protections), isn't likely to gain much traction so long
as there is a Republican majority in the House.
“Obviously, with the Republicans in
power, you're not going to get the bill even considered,” Frank
“This is an organizing effort. I'm
going to be urging people to spend their time talking to those who
have voted in the past for ENDA and are supportive of ENDA but where
we're not certain they're still with us on the transgender issue.
So, that's what – having a bill before you makes it easier to
organize people to do that.”
Frank, who is among the lawmakers
backing repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law that
bans federal recognition of the legal marriages of gay and lesbian
couples, suggested the repeal effort wouldn't get very far.
“I believe that, with regard to DOMA,
the goal is to win it in court,” Frank said. “I do not think
there is a good likelihood of getting DOMA repealed through the
Congress. I think there is a good likelihood, in a Democratic
Congress, of getting an inclusive ENDA. The number of folks we have
to shift to get ENDA passed with transgender inclusion is smaller
than the number of votes we have to shift to get DOMA repealed. And
I have consistently said that all along.”