It's sure to be an interesting election season when Rep. Barney Frank praises the candidacy of a Republican for Congress.
Republican congressional candidate Richard Tisei was featured in a Daily Beast article this week about gay politicians in the 2012 election.
According to that article, Frank criticized what he called homophobia in the Republican party but "sees an opportunity for the party to start repairing its image on gay issues" if Tisei is elected to Congress. While not an actual endorsement, it sheds light on a possible trend of sexual orientation becoming less of a partisan issue.
If elected in November, Tisei would be the first openly gay Republican member of Congress. And he's hoping that will affect change.
“Within the Republican caucus, just being there will make a big difference,” Tisei reportedly told The Daily Beast. “We’ll never have true equality in the country regarding these issues if we don’t have advocates on both sides of the aisle.”
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which works to elect LGBT candidates to public office, has endorsed Tisei. And according to the Daily Beast article, the Fund expects to endorse more gay Republican candidates as the election season progresses.
UPDATE: The Daily Beast has since amended their article with a statement from Rep. Barney Frank:
In a statement sent to the Beast after this article was posted, Frank stressed that “the Republican Party has become increasingly hostile to openly gay candidates,” but “has also long treated Massachusetts as an exception… in the interest of maintaining control of the Congress.” Tisei’s candidacy, said Frank, is “of limited relevance to the LGBT effort to win equality.” He added that were the Republican to win, “it would be a setback for LGBT issues,” since “the effect would be to help perpetuate a rigid and militant anti-LGBT majority in the House.”