Ex-Rep. Barney Frank, gay trailblazer, praises House passage of same-sex marriage bill

Former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the first member of Congress to voluntarily come out as openly gay, attended Thursday’s historic House vote to protect same-sex and interracial marriage and praised legislators for their work.

Video transcript

BARNEY FRANK: I was here for the birth of DOMA, so I am very grateful to be able to be here for the funeral. And it's kind of a, it's kind of a New Orleans moment. We are tooting our horns for the funeral, a much happier occasion than the birth. But I just want to say something very important, not just about this bill, but about the job of legislating.

I was chagrined to read criticism of Tammy Baldwin before the election for not pressing ahead with this bill to maximize its advantage as a political issue. And Tammy, through her own life experience, understood what troubles this cause for same sex married couples all over the country. And she understood that resolving those fears was much more important than any political issue.

And she stood up and she was proven right. And I hope people will now take this as an example of responsible legislating, not being panicked by people who have more emotion than intelligence on an issue. And I just want to pay tribute to one of the great legislative achievements I've ever seen, Tammy shepherding this bill through.


TAMMY BALDWIN: Thank you, Barney.