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Barney Frank Opposes SF Lawless Marriages


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Rep. Barney Frank opposed San Francisco's gay marriage effort



Associated Press

Published on: 02/20/04


SAN FRANCISCO -- Rep. Barney Frank said San Francisco's decision to challenge state law and grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples could damage efforts by gay rights advocates to defend the Massachusetts court decision legalizing gay marriage.


"I was sorry to see the San Francisco thing go forward," said Frank, an openly gay congressman from Massachusetts who shared his concerns with fellow Democrat and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom before the city began marrying gay couples last week.


In an interview with The Associated Press, Frank expressed concern that the image of lawlessness and civil disobedience in San Francisco would lead some in Congress to support a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.


Frank said he had hoped Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court decision upholding the right of same-sex couples to marry would serve as a national model for orderly, legal protection of gay marriage.


"If we go forward in Massachusetts and get same-sex marriage on the books, it's going to be binding and incontestable," Frank said Tuesday.


Instead, Frank said, San Francisco's move promotes the notion that unpopular laws can be broken or ignored.


"When you're in a real struggle, San Francisco making a symbolic point becomes a diversion," he said.


California law defines marriage as "a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman." In addition, voters approved a ballot measure in 2000 that said only marriages between a man and woman are valid.


Newsom spokesman Peter Ragone praised Frank as a respected leader on gay rights issues but denied that the mayor's decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses promotes illegal behavior.


"We don't view this as breaking the law," Ragone said. "We view this as upholding the state's constitution, which explicitly prohibits any form of discrimination."



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I have mixed emotions about the marriages in SF--on one hand it was exhilarating to see that bold move taken regardless of consequences, and so many gay and lesbian couples at least getting the piece of paper saying they were married, even though of questionable validity. I still believe that in the long run they will do us more good than harm.


On the other hand, however, it seems to be bringing a more immediate and much stronger, antigay backlash than many anticipated.


This morning's NY Times (on line)




points out that if no other effect, the SF gay marriages will bring out the conservative, antigay electorate in droves for the upcoming Presidential elections and almost guarantee Bush another 4 years. :(


Further, conservatives all over the nation are pushing their state legislatures to amend the individual state constitutions to prohibit gay marriage ASAP, which of course can be accomplished much quicker than an amendment to the Federal Constitution. There are also moves to prohibit same sex couples from adopting, and preventing same sex couples from receiving subsidized home mortgages.


Bush's suggested amendment to the Federal Constitution really wasn't much of a concern, since it would be so hard to accomplish and be a very long process.


Now the question is whether the states can ban gay marriages, even by amendment to their own constitutions, in a way acceptable under the Federal Constitution, as interpreted by the same US Supreme Court that gave us the Lawrence decision.


After Lawrence, Charles Lane, Washington Post, 6.26.03, said: "Today's decision will galvanize and reinvigorate the majority of Americans who believe in traditional marriage but have ignored the radical agenda of the same-sex marriage movement." Much the same as what Rep. Barney Frank is now saying.


Who's to say that the same thing would not have happened without the SF marriages, however, they certainly insured that the backlash occur sooner rather than later. Hopefully the call to arms will also bring out the gayfriendlies as well.

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Frankly (teehee) I am not concerned with the lawlessnes of it. If african- americans had obediently waited for change to take place through normal government channels, they'd still be using separate restrooms in 2004. Social progress, historically, has NEVER been ushered in without protest and acts of civil disobedience in this country (nor in any other coutry, i'd wager, to be fair about it!)

Can you imagine the following conversation by members of congress, sitting around in their marble halls on capitol hill...

Congressman Smith: "I say old chap, does it ever occur to you that our patriotic, law abiding and tax paying homosexual population is getting the short end of the stick by not receiving the economic benefits of marriage?"

Congressman Hawkins: "Oh indeed, indeed!

Why, I've spent many a sleepless night pondering just that dilemma! It's a terrible fix for those poor gays and lesbians, it is."

Smith: "I agree! We really must do something for them. Shall we draft up a Bill this afternoon? I'm sure our fellow congressmen will be eager to address this issue!"

Hawkins: "Oh yes, let's! And do pass the martinis dear Smith, you know how thirsty Bills make me!"


No, that's not really going to happen, now is it? Acts of protest, loud and strong are what change things for the better.



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Ahmen Trixie!!! I remember although it was not illegal the march in D.C. back in the early 90's when I was a wee lad and all the gay boys and girls and the speaches. I think that this is needed again. To show those who we vote for that we will no longer stand to be treated like second class citizens. I pay my taxes, I vote and I try my best to follow the law (of course with the exception of escorting). These law makers need to realize that gay people do vote and that we do care about the issues that this nation is facing whether it be eaqual marriage rights or the war in Iraq. A nice huge ass mother fuc*** rally on the steps of the capital and the White House I feel are in order. Bring it home to them let them fully see that we are not second class or lesser people. Ok I'm out for now. Day light comes early for those of us that are not used to waking up early in the morning.




Greg Seattle Wa [email protected]

http://www.male4malescorts.com/reviews/gregseattle.html http://briefcase.yahoo.com/seaboy4hire

Honey badger don't give a fuck!


"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand

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Oh Please, can't people of any cause, find SOMEWHERE other than the White House and Capitol in DC, to launch their parades, marches and protests???? Believe it or not, this is a hometown community to many people, people who are Sick and Tired of having their daily lives uprooted and inconvenienced by everyone with every cause under the sun, resulting in the closing of the public transportation system and city streets, preventing driving.


We ESPECIALLY love it when the queers block our streets, flood the local bars, get drunk, treat the local bartenders like shit while not tipping and are all-around obnoxious as hell ala the 1992? march. Stay home and march on your own streets! :(

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Yes lets plan a march on the prarie grasslands of eastern colorado to demand equal rights. I'm SURE everyone making laws in this country will stand up and take notice.


And even if they don't at least we'll be helping the poor befuddled residents of Washington DC who moved there having NO IDEA that it was the center of the federal government of the US. I can't imagine the hardships that the residents there go through when the economy is flooded with visitors for every reason under the sun. I'm sure all the bartenders huddle in fear whenever they hear that a group is coming into town, everyone knows after all that the only people in the world who tip at all are in Washington DC... actually I don't even know what tipping is .. having grown up in CO. It must be one of those sophistimicated Washington DC elitist thingies that us poor backlands hicks havn't quite picked up on yet.

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ROFLMAO!!! VaHawk, my love, you are gunning for the "Curmudgeon of the Year" Award, aren't you! Look out Woodlawn, there's a new girl in town!

But I must agree with you that local action is probably going to be more effective. Politicians need to see that, as the Bumper sticker says "We Are Everywhere", (and our supporters!) not just in a few ghettos in a few major cities.

Now I know what to buy VaHawk for X-mas, a "Keep Off the Lawn!" sign!



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>Frankly (teehee) I am not concerned with the lawlessnes of



Then you have no right to complain when other groups of people with their own grievancs decide they have the right to break the law, too. As much as you would like to, you don't get to say that gay people have the right to disregard and break the law when they think their rights are being violated, but right-wing Christians, or White Supremacists, or Communists, any other group, don't have the same right. Remember - the whole mantra you are spewing is about "equality" - so if gay people get to break the law when they want, so does everyone else.


If african- americans had obediently waited for change to

>take place through normal government channels, they'd still be

>using separate restrooms in 2004.


Do you really not understand the difference - both in terms of consequence and ethics - between a private citizen breaking the law and a GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL using the power of his office to disregard laws he doesn't like????

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Wow, what an astounding fact that the only American women who get pregnant and give birth are located on the great wide grassland plains of the U. S. As such, no one could possibly be a native born resident of Washington, DC. It is an accepted fact that all the residents in the nation’s capital must have migrated from other areas of both the U.S. and the world in general.


Wow, imagine how wonderful it is to have millions of people coming to town, trashing the place and having the local government have to foot the cleanup bill at the expense of the local taxpayers, such taxpayers by the way, having no right to representation in Congress but enjoying the right of taxation. Of course, DC does get to have all those Congressman from Colorado, California, and the other states of the union dictating to them how they should govern themselves and what laws they are entitled to enact.


Wow, it is so wonderful, that the DC natives have to put up with all this, not just once in a while, but almost weekly, especially during warm weather, as people lack the imagination to organize statewide protests, especially about an issue such as marriage which is a state controlled issue.


Wow, imagine that other, non-residents could possibly critique a legitimate complaint from the DC locals and make the assumption that those of us who live here daily have no idea of what we are talking about. After all DC is just the central locale of the federal government, as there are no American citizens living here who call the place home.


Believe it or not, this is the hometown of many people, and as such we have seen many marches and protests that our taxes have had to be used to pay the cleanup costs and we have had to endure interruptions and inconveniences that people in other parts of the country can not begin to understand, nor tolerate.


My point about tipping by such outside marchers is well justified. During the last big gay march in 1992, all of the bartenders that I know, were THANKFUL, when the out of towners left. Why? Because most of those marchers arrived at the bars after drinking all day, and as such were already nastily high on booze, had nasty demanding attitudes, and yes, left little, if any tips. Why should they care, they weren’t going to see the locals again after they went home to Colorado, or wherever they came from.

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LOL! Trixie you are one of a kind. I love your humor and compassion and ability to defuse a potentially volatile situation. On the other hand, if you are going to get me a sign for XMAS, then make it one that says TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT, as after all, that is a truly Southern sign. :o :7

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Guest ncm2169

Actually, Doug, I think that if local officials had had the guts to act in other past rights battles, that may have advanced the causes. The Repubs have been preaching about local control forever - well, here's a case of local action. Granted, there's a fine line between local "action" and the rule of law, but clearly Gavin Newsom felt he wasn't crossing that line. It may very well be dicier in other locales.


Frankly, I love it when the "liberals" play the game by the "conservatives'" rules, and then the "conservatives" cry foul. }(


(For the record, I get equally riled when the Dems do the same thing. x( ).

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>Actually, Doug, I think that if local officials had had the

>guts to act in other past rights battles, that may have

>advanced the causes. The Repubs have been preaching about

>local control forever - well, here's a case of local action.


Actually, the issue is STATE'S RIGHTS - the key principle codified in the 10th Amendment. The law which Mayor Newsom is violating is a state law. There is no ambiguity or debate. The law is clear. He's breaking it. Stop making excuses for a government official to take the law in his own hands. That's called tyranny.


>Frankly, I love it when the "liberals" play the game by the

>"conservatives'" rules, and then the "conservatives" cry foul.


Actually, the conservatives acted a trillion times more honorable in the Roy Moore case than liberals are in this case. Even though most Republicans favored the keeping of the Ten Commandments monument in the Courthouse, they almost uniformly condemned Roy Moore for violating the law and keeping it in there anyway. Too bad liberals aren't as honorable because they think they're so just and wise that their allies in government offices can violate the law with impunity and somehow that's supposed to be excusable.

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Guest ncm2169

< Actually, the issue is STATE'S RIGHTS >


Nope, wrong again Doogie. It's all a modern day political buck passing scheme which you outlined very well in another post, except in that case the issue was revenue - the Feds "return control" (and responsibility) to the states, which in turn mirror it to local governments. If one really believes that decisions are best made locally, then one should logically support local officials' actions (within certain limits, which I alluded to). Since local elected officials are so close to the grass roots, they'll get their comeuppance sooner rather than later if the local populace disagrees. Isn't that exactly what the Repubs are crying that they want? }(

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