Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said Thursday that if he had been empowered to decide one Supreme Court decision this week, he would have taken up the case on the 1965 Voting Rights Act and not the case on California's statewide ban on same-sex marriage.
The court effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act, but said it lacked standing to rule on Proposition 8, the 2008 California law that outlawed same-sex marriage. But by punting Prop 8 back to the state, the court allowed same-sex marriage to resume in California.
Frank, who was the first sitting member of Congress to voluntarily come out of the closet, indicated that the "terrible decision killing the Voting Rights Act" carries more urgency than the marriage equality case.
"Racial discrimination has been much worse [than discrimination against gays and lesbians] in this country and if I could have frankly picked one decision this week, I'll be honest, it wouldn't have been the gay marriage one," Frank said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I wish I could have reversed that terrible decision killing the Voting Rights Act because I think there are still serious issues there in democracy."
Frank hailed Wednesday's decision by the court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples, as a "major breakthrough."