Represntative Barney Frank




Barnett "Barney" Frank - (born March 31, 1940 in Bayonne, New Jersey) is the United States House Representative for Massachusetts's 4th congressional district since 1981 and a member of the Democratic Party. In 1982 he won his first full term and has been re-elected ever since by wide margins. In 1987 he became the second openly gay member of the House of Representatives, and has become one of the most prominent openly gay politicians in the United States. Frank was born to a Jewish family in Bayonne, New Jersey and was educated at Harvard College, where he resided in Kirkland House and then Winthrop House, graduating in 1962.

He taught undergraduates at Harvard while studying for a Ph.D., but left in 1968 before completing the degree, to become Boston mayor Kevin White's Chief Assistant, a position he held for three years. He then served for a year as Administrative Assistant to Congressman Michael J. Harrington. Frank has been outspoken on many civil rights issues, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. In 1987, he publicly came out as gay. Through the 1990 Immigration Act, Frank was a major force in removing restrictions based on "sexual preference exclusion" which had been explicitly prohibited by early immigration law.

In 1998, Frank founded the National Stonewall Democrats, the national LGBT Democratic organization. Frank was accused by Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) of having a "radical homosexual agenda" and responded "I do have things I would like to see adopted on behalf of LGBT people: they include the right to marry the individual of our choice; the right to serve in the military to defend our country; and the right to a job based solely on our own qualifications. I acknowledge that this is an agenda, but I do not think that any self-respecting radical in history would have considered advocating people's rights to get married, join the army, and earn a living as a terribly inspiring revolutionary platform."

Frank's stance on outing gay Republicans has been called the "Frank Rule" whereby a closeted person who uses their power, position, or notoriety to hurt LGBT people can be outed. People who want to demonize other people shouldn't then be able to go home and close the door and do it themselves."

Frank resides in a studio apartment complex in Newton, Massachusetts. His partner, Jim Ready, 39, is a surfing enthusiast whom Frank met during a gay political fund raiser in Maine, where Ready still lives.