Saturday, October 10, 2009

Barney Frank: Protesting against us is a waste of time, against everyone else not so much.

Rep. Frank says DC gay rights march misses mark

By ANDREW MIGA, Associated Press Writer Andrew Miga, Associated Press Writer – Sat Oct 10, 11:28 am ET

WASHINGTON – Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay member of Congress, says he'd rather see gay rights supporters lobbying their elected officials than marching in Washington this weekend, calling the demonstration "a waste of time at best."

Frank said in an interview with The Associated Press that he considers such demonstrations to be "an emotional release" that does little to pressure Congress.

"The only thing they're going to be putting pressure on is the grass," the Massachusetts Democrat said Friday.

Thousands of gay men and women are expected to gather for Sunday's National Equality March.

Many gay rights advocates have criticized President Barack Obama for not moving faster to keep his campaign promises to extend gay rights, and Congress has also drawn flak for not doing more. Obama plans to speak Saturday at a dinner hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group.

This weekend's activities in Washington probably won't have much impact with lawmakers, Frank said, because most of them are back in their states or districts for the Columbus Day holiday weekend.

Frank's comments underscore divisions in the gay community over the pace of progress on civil rights.

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