Uncle Barney (Frank)

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    Jun 19, 2009 9:47 PM GMT
    I wrote the following in another thread, but decided to make a separate thread for it:

    After what I read gay US Rep. Barney Frank say to justify his endorsement of President Obama's wholly inadequate memorandum regarding gay rights for Federal employees, I can see the emergence of a new euphemism, that has all the meanings that Uncle Tom has for Blacks: an Uncle Barney.

    Be someone who overlooks and excuses continued injustices against your own GLBT community: you're an Uncle Barney.

    Be the apology maker for the gay rights promise breakers: Uncle Barney.

    Rationalize those who don't support gays: Uncle Barney.

    Present yourself as a gay rights champion, then side with the opposition: Uncle Barney.

    Place party loyalty before people, whether they're gay or otherwise: Uncle Barney.

    Be so self-deluded that you fail to realize your own victimization and those you represent: Uncle Barney.
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    Jun 19, 2009 10:19 PM GMT
    Dear (almost) neighbor: In theory that would be ideal, in practice totally impossible. And though they may go to Washington promising to fix the problem, in short order they become part of the problem.

    When I was a US Army Officer, each time I took a new assignment I knew I would have the advantage of "new eyes" for only 6 to 12 months. It was during that critical period that I had to objectively estimate the situation and initiate whatever changes I thought were needed.

    After that period, I myself would invariably become part of the problem. I would start to defend the status quo, and my own initial decisions. It would be up to my successor to move the ball further down the field than I was now capable of doing. Fortunately the Army rotated its commanders fairly often, keeping things fresh.

    Congress does not do that. On the contrary, it rewards & institutionalizes creaky seniority, and fossilized thinking. I fear that Barney Frank, though once a precedent-setting hero for gays, is now merely part of the excuse-making problem.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jun 20, 2009 12:13 AM GMT
    I'd like to offer some up some reasoning here. First, Barney Frank is a smart man. He is a politician, so that can't be ruled out in his decision making, but he's stood up to Democratic presidents before. I'd like to think he'd stand up to this one if he's in the wrong.

    Second, a lot of us -- myself included -- got a lot of their information on the DOMA brief controversy through John Aravosis/Americablog, either first-hand, second-hand, or through a few other filters. I like Aravosis, but I'm always a bit reluctant to accept his claims outright. I worked at GLAAD when he'd challenge the org on various things when he didn't have all his facts straight. He didn't always appreciate nuance. He's a bit of a fiery Greek. A gay Rush Limbaugh, in some ways. Thank god we have a gay Rush Limbaugh, but sometimes you wish they'd lower the volume a bit.

    I saw this post last night on Towleroad from a lawyer who actually read the DOJ brief on DOMA and says it doesn't have the incendiary things that Aravosis claims it has, e.g. language about "incest." Here is the blog from Law Dork:

    http://lawdork.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/chairman-frank-and-aravosiss-misstatements/

    That said, the Obama administration has taken us for granted, like all administrations before it. And it's time we send the message that when you make us a promise, you'd better deliver. Stop putting us on the back burner, ESPECIALLY if you call yourself a "fierce advocate." We know fierce, and we'll show you fierce.

    The Obama administration is starting to listen: the Obama administration today indicated it wanted gay couples counted in the next census. The DOJ is planning to meet with representatives of gay groups next week to discuss how to proceed on DOMA challenges, and Press Secretary Gibbs was a LOT less dismissive on the top of gay rights when asked about the subject today. Americablog and Towleroad have some other examples that show a bit of progress, but Obama still has yet to deliver on any of the campaign promises he made.

    So, let's keep up the pressure, but let's not throw people like Barney Frank to the wolves quite yet.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jun 20, 2009 12:13 AM GMT
    jprichva saidI know Barney and his sister Ann Lewis. They are first cousins of one of my closest college friends.

    I don't understand his recent statement, but I don't think he's fossilized. I think Obama probably told him to back off on this DOJ thing if he wants his banking reforms to get fast-tracked. It's the only explanation I can think of.


    You do know that the very definition of "Uncle Tom" and now "Uncle Barney" involves selling out for personal or professional gain.

    I also think that if before we strike out at our own, we should at least give him the benefit of the doubt for a few missteps.

    http://www.house.gov/frank/pressreleases/2009/06-17-09-doma.html

    I disagree with his reasons and his assessment. But I do think that he is making an honest argument.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jun 20, 2009 12:22 AM GMT
    EricLA saidI'd like to offer some up some reasoning here. First, Barney Frank is a smart man. He is a politician, so that can't be ruled out in his decision making, but he's stood up to Democratic presidents before. I'd like to think he'd stand up to this one if he's in the wrong.

    Second, a lot of us -- myself included -- got a lot of their information on the DOMA brief controversy through John Aravosis/Americablog, either first-hand, second-hand, or through a few other filters. I like Aravosis, but I'm always a bit reluctant to accept his claims outright. I worked at GLAAD when he'd challenge the org on various things when he didn't have all his facts straight. He didn't always appreciate nuance. He's a bit of a fiery Greek. A gay Rush Limbaugh, in some ways. Thank god we have a gay Rush Limbaugh, but sometimes you wish they'd lower the volume a bit.

    I saw this post last night on Towleroad from a lawyer who actually read the DOJ brief on DOMA and says it doesn't have the incendiary things that Aravosis claims it has, e.g. language about "incest." Here is the blog from Law Dork:

    http://lawdork.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/chairman-frank-and-aravosiss-misstatements/


    I disagree.

    "And the courts have widely held that certain marriages, performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum. See e.g., Catalano v. Catalano, 170 A.2d 726, 728-29 (Conn. 1961) (marriage of uncle to niece, though valid in Italy under its laws, was not valid in Connecticut because it contravened public policy of th[at] state.”

    That's a blatant comparison to incest.

    This is the Justice Department. The people who wrote this all have LAW DEGREES. They should be intelligent enough to know that such a comparison would be unnecessary and incendiary.
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    Jun 20, 2009 12:35 AM GMT
    EricLA saidThe Obama administration is starting to listen: the Obama administration today indicated it wanted gay couples counted in the next census

    "Wants" or can and "will" make it happen? One of the many seldom-discussed aspects of DOMA is to prevent gay & lesbian couples from being recorded as such in the US census conducted every 10 years. The Republicans were quite thorough when they originally authored this thing, leaving few Federal stones unturned, despite their repeated false claims that's it's nothing more than being about states rights.

    It will be interesting to see how, or even if, the Obama Administration manages to get around DOMA to count us in the 2010 census as couples, even if we're legally married in some states.
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    Jun 20, 2009 12:46 AM GMT
    Actually, many of us felt Barney's dumping trans people from ENDA was Uncle-Tomish, but people like John Aravosis thought he was right to do so.
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Jun 20, 2009 12:58 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidOh, and by the way, the vocal gays calling for "gay marriage" rights are going about getting what they want in a very stupid way.

    The entire argument against gay marriage is because the word marriage has a religious meaning. So, those opposed to gay "marriage" are opposed because they believe it violates their religious beliefs.

    Are gays really seeking "marriage?" I don't think so when it's viewed through the prism of religion. However, gays seeking "marriage" are really after the tax benefits, financial benefits and other legal recognition aspects that are given to "married" people.

    If the gays pushing for "gay marriage" would just rebrand what they are looking for to completely take the word "marriage" out of it, then they will have taken a big step towards disarming the opposition.


    Learn from the youth....
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    Jun 20, 2009 1:00 AM GMT
    ObsceneWish saidActually, many of us felt Barney's dumping trans people from ENDA was Uncle-Tomish, but people like John Aravosis thought he was right to do so.

    I understand in US politics there is a requirement for a degree of party loyalty, that makes members of Congress more critical of an Administration of the opposite party, than of one that is their own.

    Yet forgive me for wishing that we had more gay advocates in Congress with a pair of balls, rather than those with only a left one or a right one, depending upon who occupies the White House.
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    Jun 20, 2009 1:06 AM GMT
    I think he would be preferred to be call "Auntie" Barneyicon_lol.gif
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    Jun 20, 2009 1:08 AM GMT
    TexSportsNut saidI think he would be preferred to be call "Auntie" Barneyicon_lol.gif

    LMAO!!! Point! icon_biggrin.gif
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jun 20, 2009 2:23 AM GMT
    styrgan said
    EricLA saidI'd like to offer some up some reasoning here. First, Barney Frank is a smart man. He is a politician, so that can't be ruled out in his decision making, but he's stood up to Democratic presidents before. I'd like to think he'd stand up to this one if he's in the wrong.

    Second, a lot of us -- myself included -- got a lot of their information on the DOMA brief controversy through John Aravosis/Americablog, either first-hand, second-hand, or through a few other filters. I like Aravosis, but I'm always a bit reluctant to accept his claims outright. I worked at GLAAD when he'd challenge the org on various things when he didn't have all his facts straight. He didn't always appreciate nuance. He's a bit of a fiery Greek. A gay Rush Limbaugh, in some ways. Thank god we have a gay Rush Limbaugh, but sometimes you wish they'd lower the volume a bit.

    I saw this post last night on Towleroad from a lawyer who actually read the DOJ brief on DOMA and says it doesn't have the incendiary things that Aravosis claims it has, e.g. language about "incest." Here is the blog from Law Dork:

    http://lawdork.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/chairman-frank-and-aravosiss-misstatements/


    I disagree.

    "And the courts have widely held that certain marriages, performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum. See e.g., Catalano v. Catalano, 170 A.2d 726, 728-29 (Conn. 1961) (marriage of uncle to niece, though valid in Italy under its laws, was not valid in Connecticut because it contravened public policy of th[at] state.”

    That's a blatant comparison to incest.

    This is the Justice Department. The people who wrote this all have LAW DEGREES. They should be intelligent enough to know that such a comparison would be unnecessary and incendiary.


    Don't know if you read the link that I had in my post from Law Dork, but he addresses that charge as follows:

    2. “Comparing us to incest and pedophilia” claim is overstated and does not withstand any serious, legal scrutiny.

    This claim, to which I’ve previously objected, has been Aravosis’s claim to fame on the brief, with him taking credit whenever anyone uses the claim.

    Here’s the actual line — yes, only one sentence, and not really even a sentence but just a list of cases (called a “string cite”) after a sentence — from the brief:

    And the courts have widely held that certain marriages performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum. See, e.g., Catalano v. Catalano, 170 A.2d 726, 728-29 (Conn. 1961) (marriage of uncle to niece, “though valid in Italy under its laws, was not valid in Connecticut because it contravened the public policy of th[at] state”); Wilkins v. Zelichowski, 140 A.2d 65, 67-68 (N.J. 195icon_cool.gif (marriage of 16-year-old female held invalid in New Jersey, regardless of validity in Indiana where performed, in light of N.J. policy reflected in statute permitting adult female to secure annulment of her underage marriage); In re Mortenson’s Estate, 316 P.2d 1106 (Ariz. 1957) (marriage of first cousins held invalid in Arizona, though lawfully performed in New Mexico, given Arizona policy reflected in statute declaring such marriages “prohibited and void”).

    These were three cases about marriages, which were valid in one jurisdiction, not being allowed under the laws of another jurisdiction. There is nothing further. The brief does not ever use the words “incest” or “pedophilia.” And, by the way, the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), the standard for diagnosis, defines pedophilia as involving “sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).” Under that definition, there is not even a case involving pedophilia appearing in the brief at all — which is likely the reason that no mainstream publication has repeated that claim.

    Despite all that, this is what Aravosis concluded this evening about Chairman Frank:

    Barney thinks the language of the brief was great. He even, between the lines, defends the invocation of incest and pedophilia.

    No, he clearly did not think the brief was great, as his statement made clear. Moreover, he never defended anything that isn’t in the brief, despite your constant claims to the contrary.

    It is Aravosis’s spreading of this continued falsity — particularly to demean the smart, legitimate statements of members of Congress — that lead me to continued reporting about why it’s false.


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    Jun 20, 2009 3:10 AM GMT
    From DemocracyNow.org, an interview with Cleve Jones (close associate to Harvey Milk):

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/19/as_criticism_of_obama_mounts_within

    Bottomline: NEVER settle for less than whole equality!
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    Jun 20, 2009 3:18 AM GMT
    EricLA said

    Don't know if you read the link that I had in my post from Law Dork, but he addresses that charge as follows:

    2. “Comparing us to incest and pedophilia” claim is overstated and does not withstand any serious, legal scrutiny.

    This claim, to which I’ve previously objected, has been Aravosis’s claim to fame on the brief, with him taking credit whenever anyone uses the claim.

    Here’s the actual line — yes, only one sentence, and not really even a sentence but just a list of cases (called a “string cite”) after a sentence — from the brief:

    And the courts have widely held that certain marriages performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum. See, e.g., Catalano v. Catalano, 170 A.2d 726, 728-29 (Conn. 1961) (marriage of uncle to niece, “though valid in Italy under its laws, was not valid in Connecticut because it contravened the public policy of th[at] state”); Wilkins v. Zelichowski, 140 A.2d 65, 67-68 (N.J. 195icon_cool.gif (marriage of 16-year-old female held invalid in New Jersey, regardless of validity in Indiana where performed, in light of N.J. policy reflected in statute permitting adult female to secure annulment of her underage marriage); In re Mortenson’s Estate, 316 P.2d 1106 (Ariz. 1957) (marriage of first cousins held invalid in Arizona, though lawfully performed in New Mexico, given Arizona policy reflected in statute declaring such marriages “prohibited and void”).

    These were three cases about marriages, which were valid in one jurisdiction, not being allowed under the laws of another jurisdiction. There is nothing further. The brief does not ever use the words “incest” or “pedophilia.” And, by the way, the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), the standard for diagnosis, defines pedophilia as involving “sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).” Under that definition, there is not even a case involving pedophilia appearing in the brief at all — which is likely the reason that no mainstream publication has repeated that claim.

    Despite all that, this is what Aravosis concluded this evening about Chairman Frank:

    Barney thinks the language of the brief was great. He even, between the lines, defends the invocation of incest and pedophilia.

    No, he clearly did not think the brief was great, as his statement made clear. Moreover, he never defended anything that isn’t in the brief, despite your constant claims to the contrary.

    It is Aravosis’s spreading of this continued falsity — particularly to demean the smart, legitimate statements of members of Congress — that lead me to continued reporting about why it’s false.




    Sorry buddy but I have a legal degree, a string cite is a sentence and can be a very strong sentence. That string cite says that marriages can be void as against public policy of the state. the only reasons states void marriages for public policy reasons are incest, and child rape. we should void homosexual marriages on ground of public policy because it is comparable to incest and child rape. There is no way to get around what it says. I have read the brief, it was one of the most abhorrent pieces of legal writing I have ever read.

    The authors of this brief made the same arguments that were struck down by the court in Loving v. Virginia. the argument in Loving v. virginia was that that they were not stopping people from getting married because they could marry people of there own race. the court said marriage was a fundamental right. the argument made in this brief was that no one was stopping gay people from getting married because they can marry someone of the opposite sex.

    Even if you agree with the proposition that the administration had to defend the law as constitutional there was nothing saying how strongly the DOJ had to advocate for the law. the brief could have been filed on the issue of standing and from the presentation of the facts in the case it would have been thrown out. There was no need for an administration that claimed it would champion gay rights and overturn DOMA and DADT to submit a brief with these arguments to the court, and the fact that OBAMA then tried to pacify the gays by "extending" federal benefits to same sex partners was a slap in the face. he didn't extend anything that wasnt already available, and didnt extend the things that people really want and need.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jun 20, 2009 4:53 AM GMT
    EricLA said
    styrgan said
    EricLA saidI'd like to offer some up some reasoning here. First, Barney Frank is a smart man. He is a politician, so that can't be ruled out in his decision making, but he's stood up to Democratic presidents before. I'd like to think he'd stand up to this one if he's in the wrong.

    Second, a lot of us -- myself included -- got a lot of their information on the DOMA brief controversy through John Aravosis/Americablog, either first-hand, second-hand, or through a few other filters. I like Aravosis, but I'm always a bit reluctant to accept his claims outright. I worked at GLAAD when he'd challenge the org on various things when he didn't have all his facts straight. He didn't always appreciate nuance. He's a bit of a fiery Greek. A gay Rush Limbaugh, in some ways. Thank god we have a gay Rush Limbaugh, but sometimes you wish they'd lower the volume a bit.

    I saw this post last night on Towleroad from a lawyer who actually read the DOJ brief on DOMA and says it doesn't have the incendiary things that Aravosis claims it has, e.g. language about "incest." Here is the blog from Law Dork:

    http://lawdork.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/chairman-frank-and-aravosiss-misstatements/


    I disagree.

    "And the courts have widely held that certain marriages, performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum. See e.g., Catalano v. Catalano, 170 A.2d 726, 728-29 (Conn. 1961) (marriage of uncle to niece, though valid in Italy under its laws, was not valid in Connecticut because it contravened public policy of th[at] state.”

    That's a blatant comparison to incest.

    This is the Justice Department. The people who wrote this all have LAW DEGREES. They should be intelligent enough to know that such a comparison would be unnecessary and incendiary.


    Don't know if you read the link that I had in my post from Law Dork, but he addresses that charge as follows:

    2. “Comparing us to incest and pedophilia” claim is overstated and does not withstand any serious, legal scrutiny.

    It is Aravosis’s spreading of this continued falsity — particularly to demean the smart, legitimate statements of members of Congress — that lead me to continued reporting about why it’s false.




    Yeah. I did read the link. It's where I got the quote from.

    They referenced a court decision that had to do with incest and used it to justify why states need protection from "non-traditional" forms of marriage.

    They claim that the precedent for this is "widely held." If it's so widely held, they should have done the logical thing and chosen a case that was less outrageous to make their case for DOMA. Choosing a case that dealt with incest is like having a spear hurled into your side given the historical debate that has existed between gay rights groups and fundamentalist Christians.
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Jun 20, 2009 4:00 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    metta8 said

    Learn from the youth....


    Nothing to learn there except that the "youth" are making the same strategic mistake as the "middle aged and older" people advocating for gay marriage.

    Take out the word "marriage" and you immediately have eliminated opposition that is based on marriage being a religious-based word / act / status. People are against gay "marriage" because it violates their religious beliefs.



    Who's religious beliefs? Not allowing gay people to use the word marriage also violates religous beleifs. The government should not choose one religion over another.

    faithdemandsjustice.jpg

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    Jun 20, 2009 4:13 PM GMT



    Atheist and non denominational marriages, wiccan, pagan, agnostic marriages.

    Gay is only a drop in the bucket.

    Now since when has marriage become the sole property of the religious Right?


    here:

    http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/15-familykids/42-new-marriage-and-divorce-statistics-released