Newly married gay Congressman Barney Frank ridiculed the Log Cabin Republicans in an interview with the Huffington Post on Wednesday, suggesting that the conservative gay organization tries to model itself like an “Uncle Tom.”
Originally the name of the title character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in 1852, the phrase “Uncle Tom” has come to have a derogatory meaning as someone who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures.
The ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank is retiring after serving 16 terms from Massachusetts’ 4th District. He was in Charlotte, N.C. attending the Democratic National Convention when he took aim at the gay GOP group for their continued support of their party. Log Cabin Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper made a comment during last week’s GOP convention in Tampa last week that his group 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. “Mr. 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.”
The Log Cabin Republicans responded by calling Frank “a partisan hack” who “bashes his fellow LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi and transgender) Americans.”
Frank married his longtime partner this past July.
Frank is scheduled to speak Thursday night about GOP standard bearer Mitt Romney’s tenure as their state’s governor.