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Rep. Frank wants GOP to distance itself from Tea Party protests after gay slurs

Rep. Barney Frank
(D-Mass.), called a “Homo Communist” on Saturday by protesters opposed to President Barack Obama’s health plan, says his GOP colleagues need to do more to “differentiate
themselves” from the hateful speech spewed in the healthcare debate’s
final hours.

Frank, an openly
gay lawmaker, had to call the Captiol Police “to move away” five or six protesters who were banging on his office door and shouting through
the mail slot.

{mosads}While making the
trek across the street from his office to the Capitol, Frank was called a “Homo
Communist” and told to “go homo to Massachusetts” by several protesters,
according to witnesses and confirmed by Frank.

Lawmakers at work
on Capitol Hill for a rare Saturday session endured thousands of energized
protesters gathered to show their opposition to the president’s sweeping
healthcare reform bill, headed for passage on Sunday.

Frank, a longtime
advocate for lesbian and gay rights, called it “unfortunate” that people protesting in the Tea Party event took to spewing “bigoted, abusive, personal
things” at him and some African-American members.

“If this was a
movement that I was part of, I’d be doing more than I think the Republicans
are, to differentiate myself,” Frank said in an interview with The Hill that
afternoon.

Then the
Financial Services Committee Chairman took a shot at a GOP member of his
Financial Services Committee panel, Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.).

“Any movement in
which the intellectual leader is Michele Bachmann is obviously going to be
problematic,” Frank said.

Bachmann’s office did not comment for this story.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) put out a statement Saturday night condemning the reports.

“Today’s protests against health insurance reform saw a rash of
despicable, inflammatory behavior, much of it directed at minority
Members of Congress,” Hoyer said. “According to reports, anti-reform protestors spat
on Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, yelled a sexual slur at Rep. Barney Frank,
and addressed my dear friend, Rep. John Lewis, with a racial slur that
he has sadly heard far too many times.

“…Members of Congress and opinion leaders ought to come to terms with
their responsibility for inciting the tone and actions we saw today. A
debate that began with false fears of forced euthanasia has ended in a
truly ugly scene.”

This post was updated at 10:40 p.m.

Tags Barack Obama Michele Bachmann

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