Barney Frank, Gay-Rights Warrior

Apparently Barney Frank, in his retirement from Congress, has taken it upon himself to be the eager warrior for gay rights. And he’s not letting a little thing like personal privacy get in his way. What better way to do that than to expose closeted-gay congressmen who don’t vote the way Frank wants?

Back in the 1990s, then-Representative Frank established what is known as the “Frank Rule.” If a sitting Republican congressman votes against gay-friendly legislation, and is secretly gay himself, then Frank exposes them. Victims of the conniving lawmaker, I presume, are not tickled pink at the thought of their private lives being made public.

But then that’s Barney’s point. He wants to embarrass, humiliate, and tear down his opponents by any means necessary. The “Frank Rule” came into prominence in 2006 when Florida congressman Mark Foley was accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to teenage boys. During the scandal, Frank articulated his rule on the "Bill Maher Show", telling the seriously unfunny host, “I think there's a right to privacy. But the right to privacy should not be a right to hypocrisy. And people who want to demonize other people shouldn't then be able to go home and close the door and do it themselves.”

Geez. For a pothead, Frank can sure hold a grudge.

The latest target of the “Frank Rule” is disgraced, soon-to-be ex-Rep. Aaron Schock. The Illinois congressman recently announced his resignation amid an FBI investigation into his lavish campaign spending. Schock, who adorned his Capitol Hill office with Downton Abbey decor and paid for his interns to attend a Katy Perry concert, doesn’t exactly go to great lengths to hide his effeminate side. His Instagram is full of model-esque pictures, with the lawmaker doing everything from surfing to the tango.

Of course, any straight man can take pictures of himself. But Schock’s social media presence is far more natty and flamboyant than the average. Thus, it’s no shock (pardon the pun) that many assume Schock is gay. He meets the stereotype of a preening, self-obsessed girly-man.

Barney Frank, along with the rest of the world, believes Schock is as queer as a three-and-a-half dollar bill. In an interview with Business Insider, Frank said of the gay rumors, “I have to say, if they're not true, he spent entirely too much time in the gym for a straight man." Yes, and Waylon Smithers spends too much time assisting Montgomery Burns to be a straight man as well. That's some powerful detective work, Barney.

Frank went further, stating, “if he is [gay], he's forfeited any right to privacy because he votes anti-gay. My view is that people who are gay who vote to support the right of other people to do it have a right to privacy, but the right to privacy does not include hypocrisy."

Apparently Rep. Frank thinks he’s the arbiter of what rights are legitimate. If you disagree with him on the matter of same-sex marriage, then your private personhood is his to share. How very convenient for him.

There are multitude of things wrong with Frank’s vindictive little rule, but let’s switch the stakes for a minute and consider the man’s tenure in Congress. In 1991, he was reprimanded by the House of Representatives for soliciting gay sex from a prostitute and then housing him in his basement. During the stay, this man operated a male brothel out of the congressman’s home. And who said Democrats hate small business?

Frank also stood accused of favoritism when he helped his lover, Herb Moses, secure a job at government-sponsored housing financier Fannie Mae -- perhaps the only thing with a female name Frank felt a sense of attraction to. A decade later, the then-outgoing rep admitted to his personal cronyism. Yet he was recalcitrant about the scale of his personal failing, saying it’s a “common thing in Washington for members of Congress to have spouses work for the federal government.”

The irresponsible manner in which Frank conducted business as a public servant is disgraceful. As Congress’ first openly gay lawmaker, his legacy is one of corruption, sexual tomfoolery, and fomenting an economic crash. Basically, he doesn’t deserve a gold star for good governance.

Should his mismanagement of the public trust mean his life should be turned inside-out so that he face mortification for his misdeeds? I don’t think so. Privacy is important to humans. We need space away from others to truly detox from the expectations of society. And we all have secrets we don’t wish to share, even with our closest loved ones.

Given all his hijinks as a political figure, perhaps the dishonorable Frank should lay off the outing game. There’s that whole Golden Rule thing Jesus taught us. And nobody likes a “big, fat toad” with a sanctimonious attitude about their sexuality.

Alas, I’ll never understand the progressive mentality, and its constant itch to mold everyone to their liking. Schock should just tell Frank to get bent. Or maybe he should challenge Barney to let all his skeletons out of the closet before he attempts to expose anyone else. I suspect there is a reason Frank left Congress voluntarily. And I’m not alone in that hunch.