Oh, The Horror!

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) responds to a question from a reporter from a conservative news service about the ramifications of the repeal of DADT in the military. (His reaction at 0:33 is classic.)

Transcript below the fold.

CNS Reporter Nicholas Ballasy: Democratic Congressman Barney Frank spoke to CNS News dot com here on Capitol Hill about the implications of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the law banning homosexuals from openly serving in the armed forces.

[Begin video replay]

Reporter: I have question for you about the, uh, the Working Group that Secretary [of Defense Robert] Gates put into effect, he appointed, the Defense Department Working Group; they recommended that, uh, straight military personnel will have to shower with homosexuals --

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): [GASP] Showering with homosexuals? What do you think happens in gyms all over America? What do you think happens in the House of Representatives? Of course people shower with homosexuals. What a silly issue. What…what…what..what do you think goes wrong with people showering with homosexuals? Do you think the spray makes it catching? I mean, people shower with homosexuals in college dormitories, in gyms where people play sports, in gyms elsewhere. It is a complete non-issue.

Reporter: So that recommendation you think is a non-issue?

Rep. Frank: I…To accept the principle that homosexuals can’t shower with other people is a degree of discrimination that goes far beyond this. I mean, we don’t get ourselves dry-cleaned. We tend to take showers when we go to the gym, when we play sports. The notion that there’s somehow anything new, in the first place, about showering with homosexuals; remember under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, by the way, the policy was that you would be showering with homosexuals; you just weren’t supposed to know which was which, so there was no change in that. The notion that knowing that someone is gay or lesbian as opposed to knowing that there are gay and lesbian people there but you don’t know who they are, that that somehow makes a difference, is a bit silly.

Reporter: And do you think that if that…that is the case and they are; they must shower with each other… what do you think about female military personnel and male personnel; should they be able to….

Rep Frank: Shower together? No, that would disrupt people, and I… I know you’re looking for some way to discredit the policy. Do you think that gyms should have separate showers for gay and straight people? I’m asking the question because that’s the logic of what you’ve done me; you seem to think that there’s something extraordinary about, uh, gay men showering together. You think gyms should have separate showers for gay people and straight people?

Reporter: I’m just quoting the recommendation…


Rep. Frank: Don’t be disingenuous; you’re quoting those that may cause us a problem. You’re entitled to do that; you shouldn’t hide behind your views; you’re trying to talk about the difficulties, and I’m asking you, in response to your question, do you think that there ought to be separate showers at gyms? If not, then why are you in the military?

Reporter: So that’s the question you’d pose to people who had an issue with that part…

Rep. Frank: [unintelligible]

Reporter: …with that part of the recommendation…

Rep. Frank: It’s … it’s… Well, I don’t have a problem with that part of the recommendation. If people don’t want to shower with gay people, then they’d better not play sports, they’d better not belong to gyms, they’d better not go to, uh, colleges where not everyone has their own bathroom.

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