Thursday, September 13, 2012

Barney Frank refuses to apologize for comments made about Log Cabin Republicans

Last week, Congressman Barney Frank caused a huge controversy when he called the Log Cabin Republicans "Uncle Toms."

Many mainstream lgbt organizations distanced themselves from his words.

Yesterday, in a piece published by the Huffington Post, Frank made it clear that he was not apologizing or backing down:

 . . . my use of "Uncle Tom" was based not simply on the awful fact that they have chosen to be actively on the wrong side of an election that will have an enormous impact on our right to equality, both in fact and in the public perception of the popularity of that cause. If the Log Cabin Republicans -- or their even more outlandish cousins, the oddly-named GOProud -- were honestly to acknowledge that they let their own economic interests, or their opposition to strong environmental policies, or their belief that we need to be spending far more on the military or some other reason ahead of any commitment to LGBT equality, and on that ground have decided to prefer the anti-LGBT candidate to the supportive one, I would disagree with the values expressed, but would have no complaint about their logic.

The damaging aspect of the Log Cabin argument, to repeat the most important point, is that they may mislead people who do not share their view that tax cuts for the wealthy are more important than LGBT rights into thinking that they are somehow helping the latter by supporting Mitt Romney and his Rick Santorum platform.

It is a good thing for Republicans to try to influence other Republicans to be supportive of LGBT rights. The problem is when they pretend to be successful when they haven't been, and urge people to join them in rewarding the Republicans when they have, in fact, continued their anti-LGBT stance. I have been hearing the Log Cabin Republicans proclaim for years that they were improving the view of that party towards our legal equality. In fact, over the past 20 years, things have gotten worse, not better.

. . . Some have complained that in comparing the Log Cabin Republicans to Uncle Tom, I was ignoring the fact that they are nice. I accept the fact that many of them are nice -- so was Uncle Tom -- but in both cases, they've been nice to the wrong people.

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1 comment:

Genta Sebastian said...

I'm with Barney Frank on this one. The term 'Uncle Tom' does stand for those who work for those working against their best efforts, so in this instance it fits spot on.