Frank: U.S. Not Ready for Gay Prez

Rep. Barney Frank pessimistic about the possibility of a gay president in the near future

In her op-ed last Sunday, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the outspoken openly gay congressman, was pessimistic when considering the probability of a gay president of the United States.

“It’s one thing to have a gay person in the abstract,” Dowd quoted Frank as saying. “It’s another to see that person as part of a living, breathing couple. How would a gay presidential candidate have a celebratory kiss with his partner after winning the New Hampshire primary?”

He mentioned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as a major obstacle in electing a gay president. Now, the president’s spouse automatically receives perks on the Fed dime, like Secret Service protection. Would a gay partner be legally entitled to the same?

Ironically, we’ve had at least one gay leader of the nation way before DOMA: James Buchanan (1791-1868), the 15th president and a life-long bachelor. Unfortunately, historians consider Buchanan an ineffective leader whose inaction and indecision allowed tensions between the North and South to escalate prior to the Civil War.

The upside? Frank believes there’s a better chance of a gay female than a gay male president. “The sight of two women kissing has not been as distressful to people as the sight of two men kissing,” he opined, as though smooching would be priority #1 on any lesbian president’s to-do list.

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