Rep. Barney Frank on Repeal of DADT: 'I've Been Showering with Straight Colleagues’ at House Gym 'For Years'

By Penny Starr | June 20, 2012 | 5:11 PM EDT

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) (Photo by Penny Starr/

( – Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the U.S. military has “survived” the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and poked fun at critics of the policy who claimed the move would hurt morale if soldiers were required to live with open homosexuals or lesbians in barracks.

“We have a superb military force,” Frank said at the Campaign for America’s Future convention on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Frank was speaking at a breakout session on the Pentagon budget and spending practices.

“It does as well as can be done – and by the way, I do never want to fail to point out – that it is as good today as it was a year ago, when the assumption was that Marines who were ready to go into combat while they were terrified of showering with someone they knew to be gay and that getting the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will destroy our military capacity -- we appear to have survived that,” Frank said.

He added: “I should point out to some of my colleagues that I have been – as a participant in the House gym – showering with my straight colleagues for many, many years, (which) has been, I’m sorry to have to point out to them, a great deal less interesting than they apparently thought.”

The openly homosexual congressman, who has served in the House for more than 30 years, will leave his seat on Jan. 3.

“I plan to run my mouth for money,” Frank said of his retirement plans.