October 31, 2002

BARNEY FRANK WEIGHS IN on the South Carolina gay-bashing campaign incident:

The comment came during a discussion of which South Carolina candidate — Republican U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham or Democrat Alex Sanders — had more liberal friends and associates. Sanders noted that one of Graham’s endorsements came from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is “ultra-liberal.”

“His wife kicked him out and he moved in with two gay men and a Shih Tzu,” Sanders continued. “Is that South Carolina values? I don’t think so.” . . .

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay Democrat from Massachusetts, criticized Sanders in a statement on Thursday.

“Mr. Sanders’ pronouncement that it violates South Carolina values to accept an offer of hospitality from a gay couple is a bigoted comment that reflects poorly on Mr. Sanders, not Rudy Giuliani,” Frank said.

I agree. Unless, of course, Sanders was talking about the Shih Tzu, in which case his comments are entirely understandable.

UPDATE: And here’s something I didn’t know about Paul Wellstone on this subject. It’s of only academic interest now, of course — but the fact that nobody was reporting it tells us something that may be more generally relevant.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tony Adragna was on this story first. Advantage: Quasipundit!