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washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 49 - december 9, 2011

washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 49 - december 9, 2011

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Dec 12, 2011
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DECEMBER 09 2011 VOLUME 42 ISSUE 49 •
OUR COMMUNITY, OUR STORIES SINCE 1969
• WASHINGTONBLADE.COM
Freedom to Marry spurnsstate, uncertain supporterscan defeat referendum
 
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
The head of the national advocacy group Freedomto Marry startled leaders of Maryland’s campaign topass a same-sex marriage bill in 2012 when he impliedthis week that organizers weren’t doing the workneeded to defeat an expected voter referendum tooverturn such a bill.Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom toMarry, told the Washington Blade on Monday thathis group chose not to join a coalition of local, stateand national groups called Marylanders for MarriageEquality. The coalition is leading efforts to lobby theMaryland Legislature to approve a same-sex marriagebill when it convenes in Annapolis in January.“We are deeply committed, as we have been foryears, to ending exclusion from marriage in Marylandand throughout the country,” Wolfson told the Bladein an email.But he added, “In Maryland, because of thelikelihood that marriage legislation can be forced ontothe ballot, the key question is not just passing a billin the legislature, but defending it against an attackcampaign via ballot measure,” he said.“Freedom to Marry has made it clear to membersof the coalition and to lawmakers that our goal is towin, not simply to pass a bill, if there is not sufficientgroundwork and investment in a campaign to win atthe ballot,” he said.“We have continued to press for clarity and progress onbenchmarks for success, and have urged elected officials,national organizations, and advocates on the ground toshow the plan, investment, and activities needed now
Skipping the Md.marriage fight
Retiring congressman on state of LGBT movement, coming out in1987 and his future plans
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
Gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), whoannounced last week that he won’t run for re-electionnext year, said the LGBT community has seen an“enormous” amount of progress during his more than30 years in Congress and would achieve close to fullequality in 12 years.“I think we are on the verge of a very complete victorywithin a dozen years or so,” he told the WashingtonBlade in an interview in his office on Tuesday.“That is, I think the country is supportive. It getsbetter generationally,” he said. “I don’t think peoplewill be allowed to marry in every state, unfortunately,10 years from now. I think people in those states wherea majority of people live will be allowed to marry andwill have full federal rights.”Frank said he became the first member of Congressto voluntarily disclose he was gay in 1987, six yearsafter taking office in 1981, after he determined stayingin the closet was too constraining on his personal life.“I got there and I thought, OK, well I can be privatelyout but publicly closeted,” he said. “But it didn’twork. I found it very hard to have a satisfying, healthyemotional and physical life.”Frank said that during the years he withheld disclosinghis sexual orientation, both as a congressman and amember of the Massachusetts State Legislature, hepromised himself that he would never hold back onhis strong political support for LGBT rights in an effortto conceal his status as a gay person.“I remember my thought process was, well I can’t behonest about being gay. I wouldn’t win. But it wouldbe despicable for me as a gay man to be any less thanfully supportive,” he said.
 CONTINUES ON PAGE 18 CONTINUES ON PAGE 20
Retiring Rep.
BARNEY FRANK 
spoke to the Blade this weekabout a wide range of topics, including the state of the LGBTmovement and his future plans.
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY 
Barney, speaking frankly
Int’l Fight
Sec’y of State HillaryClinton calls for nationsto respect LGBT rightsas human rights.
PAGE 12
Media Matters
The season’s bestDVDs, books and othergifts for the popculture fan in your life.
PAGE 25
 
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WASHINGTONBLADE.COM
DECEMBER 09, 2011 • 03

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