Rep. Barney Frank Says Marriage Equality is up to The States

According to openly gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), the legalization of same sex marriage is an issue left up to each individual state to deal with.

“There was a fundamental confusion here,’ he said on MSNBC. “There has never been a practical law saying that what marriage is. Marriage has been left to the states.”

The Democratic Party platform drafting committee has unanimously approved language endorsing marriage equality as part of the party’s 2012 platform. Democrats will finalize their platform at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina in September. Frank is a member of the platform drafting committee.

Frank’s comments suggest the party will not seek a federal law to allow same sex couples to marry.

“The point is there is no federal law to be passed,” he explained. “Look at the situation with race. When there were states that would not allow interracial marriage, even after the Civil Rights Act has passed in ’64 and ’65, there was no federal law saying interracial marriage had to be allowed. It was done by the Supreme Court. The constitutional framework has always been states decide who gets married.”

“It has always been up to the states,” Frank added. “The only federal rule on the subject was the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Democrats are trying to overthrow.”


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