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Barney Frank Calls LCR “Uncle Toms”; LGBT Groups Disavow Charge

Jim Burroway

September 6th, 2012

Several leaders of LGBT organizations are distancing themselves from comments by Rep. Barny Frank (D-MA) that the Log Cabin Republicans have taken “Uncle Tom” as their role model. Frank first made those comments yesterday during an interview with Sirious/XM OutQ’s Michelangelo Signorile:

Frankly I’ve been appalled to see the Log Cabin club, in the face of this worse and worse record on public policy by Republicans on our issues,” Frank said. “Mr. Cooper said, ‘Well at least they’re not saying bad things about us.’ That’s just extraordinary. Again, 30 years ago when we were emerging from the vice of prejudice, I understood that. But no, we shouldn’t be accepting a kind of second class citizenship, [and saying], ‘You can treat us badly as long you don’t yell at us.’”

“They’re accepted on [the GOP's] terms,” he continued. “They’re willing to be accepted with no rights — no right to marry, no right to serve in the military, no right to be protected against hate crimes, no right to be protected in employment. I’ll be honest: For 20 years now I’ve heard how the Log Cabins are going to make Republicans better, but they’ve only gotten worse. I now understand why they call themselves Log Cabin: their role model is Uncle Tom.”

Buzfeed’s Chris Geidner reports that Frank repeated that comparison to the Democratic National Convention’s LGBT Caucus toda, where he reportedly received a mixed reaction from the crowd. Geidner quotes HRC’s Chad Griffin: “That’s certainly not my perspective. The Log Cabin Republicans are good people doing good work.” He added: “We need all fair-minded Americans to rally to the side of equality, and that most definitely includes Republicans. They provide a voice within the Republican Party that’s important.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Rea Carey and Stonewall Democrats’ Jerame Davis also backed away from Franks comments, saying that they don’t reflect the positions of their organizations. But Davis added, “The truth is that they do play a certain role of kowtowing to the Republican Party in a way that borders on inappropriate itself.”

LCR responded via a press release:

“As far as Log Cabin Republicans are concerned, it’s a badge of honor to be attacked by a partisan hack like Barney Frank,” said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. “We understand that Barney has earned his protected place within the Democrat Party by being their attack dog on gay rights issues, demonizing Republicans and undermining efforts at bipartisanship that would actually improve LGBT Americans lives. We expect this kind of bile from Barney, especially when it plays into the Obama campaign’s efforts to divide, distract and deceive the American people.”

Cooper continues, “Frank calls us ‘Uncle Toms’ and pretends that Log Cabin hasn’t been on the front lines of the fight for equality. The truth is, by speaking conservative to conservative about gay rights, Log Cabin Republicans are doing some of the hardest work in the movement, work that liberals like Barney are unwilling to do and couldn’t do if they tried.”

Comments

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AlexND
September 6th, 2012 | LINK

As one who has voted Democrat for quite some time, I think that comment of Barney Frank is way off base, and just one of the many things I disagree with him on.
LCR HAS done many good things, and I applaud them for their efforts.

tim
September 6th, 2012 | LINK

Who forced the issue with the DADT? The LCR. Meanwhile the HRC spent the last 10 years decorating their new HQ in DC.

RWG
September 6th, 2012 | LINK

“They provide a voice within the Republican Party that’s important.”

Nonsense. The Log Cabin Republicans give aid and comfort to the enemy, they support the very people who work tirelessly to deny us equality under the law, who wish only to force the gay and lesbian community back into the closet or into exile or extinction. Rep. Frank is right.

Sami
September 6th, 2012 | LINK

I’ll decide whether or not I agree with him when LCR announces whether or not they’re endorsing Romney.

PhilDC
September 6th, 2012 | LINK

LCR did a great job on their DADT lawsuit, but that has nothing to do with the validity of their mission or the success they have had within the Republican. “We had DADT overturned in court therefor gays should vote Republican” is a non sequiter.

Timothy Kincaid
September 6th, 2012 | LINK

I have to say that the Democrats and the gay groups have been classy.

tristram
September 6th, 2012 | LINK

Sami has it right. The acid test will be whether LCR endorses Romney/Ryan and their promise of a NOM-approved Supreme Court.

Lucrece
September 6th, 2012 | LINK

Give that LCR couldn’t resist from blasting Obama and spinning his endorsement of same sex marriage as divisive, calculating politics, Frank has not been too far off base.

I’ll be happy to be proved wrong if LCR chapters don’t offer Romney/Ryan endorsements.

Lord_Byron
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy,

At least the liberals have way more class when it comes to the issue of LGBT rights than the conservatives. Do the democrats have a large number of members who have compared lgbt people to pedophiles, who have stated that lgbt members are a bigger threat than terrorists, et cetra?

Tell me though what do you call a group of people who support a group that sees them as an abomination and threat to society?

“The truth is, by speaking conservative to conservative about gay rights, Log Cabin Republicans are doing some of the hardest work in the movement”

Yeah, and there work really seems to be paying off. I mean look at all the conservatives who voted to include all that anti-lgbt planks in the GOP national platform.

“demonizing Republicans and undermining efforts at bipartisanship that would actually improve LGBT Americans lives.”

Again at this moment there really isn’t much bipartisanship of anything, but to argue that there is bipartisanship on this from the GOP is laughable. The same group that doesn’t even want to recognize civil unions cannot claim to have bipartisanship ideas here.

“a victory that Democrats delayed by refusing to bring ENDA to a vote when they had the chance and by dismissing the support of conservatives like Congressman Paul Ryan.”

So, Ryan voted for ENDA, so what? supports the Defense of Marriage Act, He voted in favor of the Marriage Protection act, voted against repealing the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy and voted against expanding the country’s hate crime legislation to protect gay people. But sure he supported Ryan voted in 1999 in favor of banning same-sex couples from adopting in the District of Columbia

As for ENDA I found this article that stated
“When Republicans unsuccessfully tried a parliamentary maneuver to shelve the bill prior to its passage –– with what is known as a motion to recommit –– he joined 26 other GOP ENDA supporters in the unsuccessful effort to kill the bill they would vote for just moments later. That day, he voted against ENDA before he voted for it.”

“and our visible and vocal presence at the platform deliberations”

Which had absolutely zero positive effect on the platform.

Tony
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

The LCR have their place in politics. At least there is SOMEONE trying to engage Republicans. What else are LGBT people supposed to do? Let them go unchallenged and just ignore them? What Barney Frank said is definitely true about GOProud, but not of LCR. LCR is actually working to advance gay rights in the Republican party. We need both sides if we are going to change peoples’ minds. Honestly, I think a lot of the hate is meant for GOProud, but directed at the wrong org. And let’s not pretend like gays can’t be petty. I think at least some of you who agree with Frank just can’t stand the thought of having a Republican administration whether it’s anti-gay or not.

Ms Rowena
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

Well, Barney didn’t say anything that my crowd hasn’t been saying since we first heard of the LCR, lol, he just said it louder and got more attention. Frankly, it’s refreshing to hear a politician actually say what he or she really thinks as opposed to the usual “sanitized by polls and research” garbage to maximize campaign support and voter turn-out. And, believe me, I’m not much of Frank fan.

I guess as far as the LCR goes, there are always aiders and abettors in abusive and repressive situations, desperate for scraps from the master’s table and desperate to maintain the pretense that the master is basically good. There was a name for that in the 19th century. Came from some well-known novel. Gee, what was that term?

Richard Rush
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

As long as there are some gay people who feel compelled to be Republicans, then I think the existence of LCR is a net-positive for all of us.

octobercountry
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

You nailed it, Lord_Byron!

JFE
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

HRC’s Chad Griffin, not Chad Griff.

Robert
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

If it were not for GOProud, the LCR would still be considered quisslings. It’s only by benefit of a more loathsome group that they now appear to smell more sweet and are more palatable to some.

darkmoonman
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

Let me know when the LCR stops voting for anti-Gay Republican candidates.

Jim Burroway
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

I’ve corrected the typo on Chad Griffin’s name.

John Doucette
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

“We expect this kind of bile from Barney, especially when it plays into the Obama campaign’s efforts to divide, distract and deceive the American people.”

Which side is trying to divide, distract and deceive the American people? To be Republican is to toe the Republican line without question. Want to know where the two parties stand? Read their party platforms.

Preston
September 7th, 2012 | LINK

Gay Republican = Jewish Nazi; it defies logic.

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