We are at a crossroads in the fight for legal equality for LGBT people.
Forty-one years ago, when I filed the first bills in the history of Massachusetts to fight discrimination, none of us enjoyed any rights anywhere in the U.S. Today, we have a national inclusive hate crimes law; we have ended bias in the military; we are no longer denied security clearance; in several states, employment discrimination is banned; and many of us have been able to marry the person we love.
But most LGBT people don't have that right, and my marriage to Jim still lacks federal recognition. There is no national law banning job bias, and in most states, it is still legal to fire us because of who we are.
There is one major obstacle to our winning the fights that remain: the overwhelming opposition of the right-wing-dominated Republican Party. Four Republicans out of 280 in Congress support our right to marry. As long as Republicans control the U.S. House, no bill to end employment discrimination will ever be allowed to get a vote. We were able to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" only because for two years we had a Democratic House, Senate and president.
I wish the issue of LGBT legal equality was not partisan. I also wish I could eat more and not gain weight, but I've learned that acting on my wishes, when they're not realistic, has bad results.
Given that reality, keeping Democratic control of the Senate and regaining Democratic control of the House is the necessary condition for finally winning our fight.
But that won't happen without your help.
There is no better way to ensure that we can take advantage of what I never expected to live to see -- the chance to drive a legal stake through the heart of that terrible prejudice that has tormented so many of us for so long.
Former Congressman Barney Frank