In 1981, as the booming gay culture was being hit with the AIDS epidemic and a rising conservative culture in Washington, Barney Frank, a young Democrat from Massachusetts, entered Congress. Six years later, he became the first elected official on the Hill to voluntarily tell the public about his homosexuality. His statement shook the Moral Majority at the time and laid the path for more Representatives to announce that they would work on behalf of the American people and out of the closet.
The wedding of Frank and Ready rides off the back of the news that Obama’s Department of Justice is demanding that the Supreme Court, when it returns to session in a few months, overturns the laughable Defense of Marriage Act passed years ago under the Clinton Administration and whole-heartedly endorsed by the Bush crew (that seems like light years ago now). And that news rides off the back of the President’s newly-grounded support for same-sex marriage. And, for New Yorkers, we reported yesterday that the courts are not even thinking of overturning the state’s same-sex marriage law. Follow the dominoes.
With a person involved in a same-sex marriage inside Congress, it will be interesting to see how this affects the discussion outside of Congress. (For now, we’re good: as Louis Peltzman of Gawker writes, “No word yet on how Frank’s same-sex marriage will undermine or destroy the marriages of his fellow members in Congress.”)
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 8, 2012