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Barney Frank:
Dreier's orientation cost him the House leadership

Barney Frank:
Dreier's orientation cost him the House leadership

Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank is accusing Republicans of rejecting California's David Dreier as the new House majority leader because of rumors that Dreier is gay. When Tom DeLay was indicted by a Texas grand jury last month, Republican officials said Dreier would be his temporary replacement. Dreier--who's chairman of the House Rules Committee--was considered by many to be a lock. But the job was given to Missouri's Roy Blunt instead, reportedly because conservatives view Dreier as too moderate on social issues like stem cell research. But as Congressman Barney Frank told the blog Raw Story, senators Bill Frist and Orrin Hatch are also supporters of stem cell research and would never be rejected as moderates. Frank quipped that Dreier was rejected because he was a so-called moderate "in the sense that I marched in the Moderate Pride Parade last summer and went to a moderate bar." Several Washington reporters, whom Raw Story did not name, confirmed Frank's statement, each telling the blog that concern surrounding Dreier's sexuality was a major factor in the decision. Reports says that Dreier has lived and traveled with his male chief of staff, and rumors about his sexuality have been floating around Capitol Hill for years. But Frank says the real issue isn't Dreier's orientation, it's the impact these rumors allegedly had on such an important decision. Frank told Raw Story, "It's reflecting this view that gayness is so terrible that it's the unmentionable of unmentionables." Dreier has repeatedly refused to comment on his sexuality, but a spokesperson for Dreier says he declined the position of majority leader because he didn't want to give up his chairmanship of the Rules Committee. (Aaron McQuade, Sirius OutQ News)

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