Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, one of a handful of openly gay members of Congress, says he believes that Congress will soon pass laws protecting transgender people from hate crimes and granting them benefits and that President Obama will this year overturn the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay members of the military.
But he told the website gay365.com that he doubts that the law defining marriage as between a man and a woman will be overturned. And Frank said he doesn't believe the Supreme Court will overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, either, using a harsh description of Justice Antonin Scalia.
"I wouldn't want it to go to the Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia's got too many votes on this current court," Frank said.
Also, Frank said that the wide attention he is getting on the economic crisis as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee helps the gay community because his personal life has not been a "hindrance" to being trusted by the president and others.
"It is helpful," he said.
The video of the interview is available on the political blog of USA Today, which first reported the remark about Scalia.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.