WATCH: Barney Frank takes ownership of ‘the radical homosexual agenda’

Rep. Barney Frank

Rep. Barney Frank had a number of one-liners in TV appearances last weekend following the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

He said he wondered what would have happened if he or another elected official had suggested exempting gays and lesbians from service.

”We have this important idea,” Frank said on Hardball on MSNBC. “Let’s exempt gay and lesbian people from having to defend the country. You talk about people complaining about special rights.”

“Showering with homosexuals?” he said in an interview with CNS, a conservative media watchdog. “What do you think happens in gyms all over America? What do you think happens in the House of Representatives? Of course people shower with homosexuals. What a silly issue!”

“Remember, under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ by the way, the policy was that you would be showering with homosexuals, you just weren’t supposed to know which was which,” he said.

Speaking after the repeal, Frank said in a press conference that there is a “radical homosexual agenda” — to be protected against violent crimes driven by bigotry, to be able to get married, to be able to get a job and to be able to fight for our country.

And he put those worried about it on notice: “Two down. Two to go.”

But in a more serious assessment on Hardball, he said, “Giving gay and lesbian people the chance to show, in the most challenging thing you can do in America, that we really are just like everybody else, except for our choices about what we do in intimate moments, will do more to help us destroy the myth.”

—  David Taffet

Assistant AG fired for harassing gay Mich. student

TIM MARTIN | Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — An assistant state attorney general accused of harassing the gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan was fired Monday, Nov. 8.

Andrew Shirvell, 30, went on leave about a month ago after national criticism erupted over a blog he wrote characterizing student leader Chris Armstrong as a “racist” and a “liar” who promoted a “radical homosexual agenda.”

Shirvell’s attorney has said his actions were constitutionally protected as free speech. Shirvell had attended the first day of a disciplinary hearing Friday and expected that hearing to continue later this week, but then was called in and fired.

Attorney General Mike Cox said the firing came after a state investigation revealed that Shirvell “repeatedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior and inappropriately used state resources.”

“To be clear, I refuse to fire anyone for exercising their First Amendment rights, regardless of how popular or unpopular their positions might be,” Cox said in a statement.

But he said Shirvell’s conduct went beyond free speech when he showed up three separate times outside Armstrong’s Ann Arbor home, including once at 1:30 a.m.

“That incident is especially telling because it clearly was about harassing Mr. Armstrong, not engaging in free speech,” Cox said.

Armstrong, 21, has accused Shirvell of videotaping a late-night party at his off-campus house, showing up at campus appearances with a sign that read “racist” and “liar,” and lambasting him on his blog. Armstrong had filed for a personal protection order against Shirvell but withdrew that request late last month.

His lawyer applauded the decision and said the state should go further and revoke Shirvell’s law license.

“This clearly is the correct decision by the attorney general’s office,” Deborah L. Gordon said in a statement. “The next step must be a complete retraction of all the malicious lies and fabrications by Mr. Shirvell, and a public apology to Mr. Armstrong, his family and others Mr. Shirvell has slandered.”

Shirvell’s lawyer, Philip Thomas, said his client has not yet decided if he will appeal the decision to the Michigan Civil Service Commission.

“It was very obvious something political had occurred, and I couldn’t imagine what that would be,” Thomas said.

Cox said the investigation found that Shirvell harassed Armstrong’s friends as they were socializing in Ann Arbor and made numerous calls to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office while Armstrong was working there as an intern “in an attempt to slander Armstrong — and ultimately attempting to cause Pelosi to fire Armstrong,” Cox said. He added that Shirvell attempted to “out” Armstrong’s friends as being homosexual, even though several weren’t gay.

The investigation revealed that while at work during normal business hours, Shirvell called Pelosi’s office and posted attacks on Armstrong on the Internet. He also lied to investigating assistant attorneys general on several occasions during Friday’s disciplinary hearing, Cox said.

“The cumulative effects of his use of state resources, harassing conduct that is not protected by the First Amendment and his lies during the disciplinary conference all demonstrate adequate evidence of conduct unbecoming a state employee,” Cox said.

Shirvell, one of about 250 lawyers in the attorney general’s office, handled cases in which convictions are appealed in federal court, writing defenses for the state. It was not a management or supervisory position.

The 2002 University of Michigan graduate is allowed on university’s Ann Arbor campus but with restrictions. He’s not allowed to make physical or verbal contact with Armstrong nor can he be in the same place as the student when it’s likely Armstrong will be present.

—  John Wright