Barney Frank Gets Heat from LGBT Advocates

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Gay rights supporters are confronting an unlikely foe—Rep. Barney Frank. Frank, who is gay himself and has been a longtime champion of gay rights, is getting heat from civil rights advocates for supporting a job discrimination bill even though it omits transgender people.

The legislation, which would be the first to protect gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in the workplace, is a compromise that was reached to move the bill forward. A poll done by a popular gay news site shows that its readers are divided on the issue, with one-third supporting Frank’s position, one-third opposing it, and one-third saying gay and transgender people shouldn’t be lumped together in the first place. At a press conference yesterday, Frank blamed the tension on the “ideological purity that plagues American politics, that holds liberalism back in a number of areas.”

As much as I think transgender people should be protected, Frank has a point. The Bush administration’s failure to give an inch on everything from Iraq to civil liberties over the last seven years has left our country deeply divided and the population completely disillusioned with government. It’s time to let our Democratic leaders lead us in the right direction, even if it takes a while to get to our final destination.

—Celia Perry

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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