When it comes to acerbic wit among politicians, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) is second to none. His response to a right-wing reporter about the issue of "showering with homosexuals" in the military is priceless: "What do you think happens in gyms all over America? ... We don't get ourselves dry-cleaned."
And he issued a less flippant but more direct statement Wednesday in response to those who fear the "radical homosexual agenda." That agenda, said Frank, is "to be protected against violent crimes driven by bigotry, it's to be able to get married, it's to be able to get a job, and it's to be able to fight for our country. For those who are worried about the radical homosexual agenda, let me put them on notice. Two down, two to go."
Love them fightin' words--but he forgot one big item: to be able to become parents and protect our children.
Despite the incredible progress LGBT parents and our children have made over the past few decades, LGBT people may still have trouble accessing fertility, surrogacy, or adoption services, or be unable to secure legal rights for both parents in a couple.
Yes, we might gain some of those rights and protections through marriage equality, depending upon how state laws are written. But marriage is no longer a prerequisite for straight people to be recognized as parents, and nor should it be for us. Marriage and parentage are not coterminous.
Even if Frank is talking about specific legislation, I'll remind him that the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which would have withheld federal funds from states and other entities that discriminate against gay men and lesbians in adoption or foster care placements, did not make it out of committee during this session of Congress. Its fate in the next session, with a Republican-controlled House, is dubious, but I hope it is not forgotten.
Still, two out of three is a start. I leave it to commenters to determine if his math needs even further revision.