Jeffrey Toobin profiles Barney Frank:

Frank is uncharacteristically hopeful about the future, including gay rights. “We’re going to do three things in Congress,” he told me. “First, a hate-crimes billthat shouldn’t be too hard. Next, employment discrimination. We almost got that through before, but now we can win even if we add transgender protections, which we are going to do. And finally, after the troops get home from Iraq, gays in the military. The time has come.”

I'd take Barney seriously. It's the same agenda as in 1988, and the Human Rights Campaign will ensure that their 20-year-long priorities are taken in order. And not-too-fast either, or the reason for their existence - and the sources of their funding - might dry up. Soldiers can wait; couples should focus on the state level. Pragmatically speaking, it seems dumb to fight this, although I'm against all hate crimes laws and believe that ENDA will mostly be a symbolic piece of legislation.

One small prediction: now the Dems are back in power, the political divisions among the gays will probably widen. That was one unintended consequence of the Bush years: he united the right and left of the gay world into a seamless whole. Now: we get to fight again about our competing visions for a gay future. Back to the 90s we go ...  I look forward to becoming the most annoying conservative on gay lists soon.

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