Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) is the highest-ranking and longest-serving openly gay politician in the United States.
"The issue is not that morals be applied to public policy; it's that conservatives bring public policy to spheres of our lives where it should not enter."
Congressman Frank is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School. Prior to entering Congress, he served in state and local government, including eight years as a Massachusetts State Representative, and three years as Chief Assistant to Boston Mayor Kevin White. During that time, Frank taught at several universities and published articles on politics and public affairs.
Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980, Frank is the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. The Almanac of American Politics has called him "one of the intellectual and political leaders of the Democratic Party in the House, political theorist and pit bull all at the same time."Politics in America has noted his "penchant for trying to match liberalism with hard-nosed pragmatism in order to move the legislative ball."
In 1987, seven years after he was elected to Congress, Frank disclosed his sexuality. He comments, "I tried every which way not to acknowledge publicly that I was gay and I said, `This was making me crazy,' and I decided to acknowledge publicly being gay."
Frank is outspoken on gay and lesbian rights and on human rights. In 1988 Frank founded the National Stonewall Democrats.
According to Representative Frank, the best perk a Member of Congress enjoys is being able, after reading about a problem in the morning newspaper, to go to the office the same day and begin working on a solution.Bibliography: