“And speaking of values that you care about, you yourself are about to get married. The president recently came out in favor of gay marriage. Two questions for you: What did you make of his finally doing that in public, and are you now going to invite him?” a reporter asked Barney during an appearance on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” Friday.
“No, because he, if he and Michelle wanted to come I would be delighted and honored to have them, but he will bring the Secret Service, and I know you people have been at events with the Secret Service,” Frank said.
“We’re having this in the city I live in, Newton, Massachusetts on a Saturday afternoon. I don’t want to be accused of having shut down the entire region for a five-mile radius on a holiday weekend. I don’t want my guests going to a magnetometer. So, dearly as I would be flattered to have the president do that, it would ruin the party to have the Secret Service, and I’m not critical of them, but they can go take their layered protection of the president somewhere else, not to my party,” he added.
Frank said he wasn’t surprised by Obama publicly supporting same-sex marriage. What emotionally impacted Frank the most was seeing the president come out against the Defense of Marriage Act.
“First of all, from the standpoint of what the federal government does, it is that law that denies benefits at the federal level to people who are married in the state of the same sex, where the state recognizes it. That’s the critical federal policy. The federal government has never historically said, ‘Okay, you’re married, and you’re not,’” Frank said.
“This decision to dishonor marriages that were legally performed in many states was an unprecedented intrusion in the states’ abilities here and had some negative impact. And he also did it by announcing he was going to hold any discriminatory legislation to a higher constitutional standard. So that was a, I was very happy that they did that,” he added.
Frank predicted that the president’s public support of same-sex marriage won’t erode voter support for the president, because those who supported gay marriage were supporters of Obama and those who were against it were against Obama.
“And I assumed after that that coming out for marriage would follow, and I have to say this from the political standpoint: If your major focus in how you’re going to vote or one of your major foci is a man’s position or a woman’s position on same-sex marriage, then it seems to me if you were against same-sex marriage, you were already against Obama,” Frank said.
“If you were for it, you were already for him. That is this last increment of saying he’s actually for same-sex marriage, I don’t see how that’s going to influence anybody’s vote who wasn’t already influenced by his very critical argument against the Defense of Marriage Act,” he said.