Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., told the Huffington Post today that the gay rights group the Log Cabin Republicans model themselves after “Uncle Tom,” the servile black slave character in the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
The liberal, openly gay congressman told the website he was “appalled” by the group’s support of Republican Party:
Frank then laced into the Log Cabin Republicans, who spoke highly of the GOP last week in Tampa, with its executive director, R. Clarke Cooper, commenting that gay GOPers felt more welcome than any time in the past.
“Frankly I’ve been appalled to see the Log Cabin club, in the face of this worse and worse record on public policy by Republicans on our issues,” Frank said. “Cooper said, ‘Well at least they’re not saying bad things about us.’ That’s just extraordinary. Again, 30 years ago when we were emerging from the vice of prejudice, I understood that. But no, we shouldn’t be accepting a kind of second class citizenship, [and saying], ‘You can treat us badly as long you don’t yell at us.’”
“They’re accepted on [the GOP's] terms,” he continued. “They’re willing to be accepted with no rights — no right to marry, no right to serve in the military, no right to be protected against hate crimes, no right to be protected in employment. I’ll be honest: For 20 years now I’ve heard how the Log Cabins are going to make Republicans better, but they’ve only gotten worse. I now understand why they call themselves Log Cabin: their role model is Uncle Tom.” (emphasis added)
The Log Cabin Republicans fired back in a press release, noting that they instigated the case that resulted in the overturning of the military’s “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy, among other efforts at advancing gay rights.
“As far as Log Cabin Republicans are concerned, it’s a badge of honor to be attacked by a partisan hack like Barney Frank,” said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. “We understand that Barney has earned his protected place within the Democrat Party by being their attack dog on gay rights issues, demonizing Republicans and undermining efforts at bipartisanship that would actually improve LGBT Americans lives. We expect this kind of bile from Barney, especially when it plays into the Obama campaign’s efforts to divide, distract and deceive the American people.”
Cooper continues, “Frank calls us ‘Uncle Toms’ and pretends that Log Cabin hasn’t been on the front lines of the fight for equality. The truth is, by speaking conservative to conservative about gay rights, Log Cabin Republicans are doing some of the hardest work in the movement, work that liberals like Barney are unwilling to do and couldn’t do if they tried.