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Barney Frank calls Mitt Romney’s anti-gay marriage views ‘despicable’

Barney Frank calls Mitt Romney’s anti-gay marriage views ‘despicable’

Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of the US House of Representatives, blasted presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for a 'willingness … to switch and become very anti-gay' in order to win votes.

Frank also called Romney 'despicable' an interview with the Washington Blade following his keynote speech at the National Stonewall Democrats’ Capital Champions reception in D.C.

The congressman recalled how Romney had vowed to be more of an LGBT advocate than the late Ted Kennedy when he was running fr the US Senate against Kennedy in 1994.

But during this primary season, Romney ramped-up his opposition to gay marriage. He had been criticized by some in the Republican party for not being socially conservative enough and lost three contests to former rival Rick Santorum.

He said if elected, he would defend the Defense of Marriage Act and fight for an amendment to the constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. Romney also boasted that while he was governor of Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal, he “fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage.'

Outspoken liberal Frank, who is retiring at the end of his current term, said: 'What that says is that existing marriages are abolished. That’s just outrageous.'

The congressman also takes issue with Romney's statements on the campaign trail that he is against discrimination.

'How does he oppose discrimination?' Frank wondered. 'He’s not for any legislation that would make it illegal. So how does he oppose it? He is for a discrimination that would dissolve all the existing marriages. So what does that mean when he says that?'

After facing one of his toughest re-election bids in 2010, the 71-year-old Frank faced an even tougher battle at the polls this year due to congressional redistricting. His liberal positions made him a target for conservatives and his newly-configurated district included more conservative areas.