Lawmaker talks of gay
orlandosentinel.com from the Web, September 11, 2005
Orlando, FL --U.S. Rep. Barney
Frank spoke about gay rights and the need for checks against Homeland Security
policy at a benefit for the American Civil Liberties Union on Saturday night.
About 250 people from throughout Florida gathered in the Orlando Expo Centre to
hear Frank discuss gay marriage and adoption in a state that ACLU leaders
describe as a hostile political climate for gays.
During the event, which collected $10,000 for the organization, Frank criticized
anti-terror policies as infringing on civil rights without the necessary balance
of an appeals process.
Frank, a Democrat from Massachusetts, spoke first about the need for equality
for gays trying to adopt. Florida is the only state that prohibits gay
couples and gay individuals from adopting children, a policy he called as harsh
on children as it is on gays.
"When you start restricting who can adopt children, you're only hurting the
children," said Frank, one of the nation's first openly gay congressmen.
Howard Simon, executive director for ACLU Foundation of Florida, said gays are
the only group categorically banned from adopting children. He said he
thinks the state is likely to become one of the next to test the
constitutionality of gay marriage.
Frank said the social decay predicted by critics of gay unions has not been
"We've had same-sex marriage for the past year and a half in Massachusetts.
Essentially no one has noticed," Frank said. "There have been zero
negative social consequences."
Erin Cox can be reached at