Damn. This is bad news. I know, Frank’s in his 70’s now; you have to retire at some point.
Barney Frank was one of a small number of elected Dems who put 100% of his efforts into fighting for Democratic ideals and principles. Some try, some don’t even seem to care. But Frank was the real deal. His intellect and brutal honesty were unmatched in the Congress. And as the first openly gay member of Congress, he inspired generations in the lgbt community.
In 1987, he [Frank] became the first member of the chamber to voluntarily acknowledge he was gay.
A longtime supporter and friend, Provincetown resident Ann Maguire, who is openly gay, said she was first inspired to support Frank in the early 1970s when he publicly announced his support for gay rights, even though he had not come out yet.
“He was running to be state rep, and he was going to be supporting gay rights, and I was like, ‘Wow.’ Here he was taking that first step. ‘Here is someone who has the courage and strength who is willing to go out and fight for something he believes in.’”
Frank also has inspired many openly gay people to run for office, including New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the first openly gay council president in the city.
“He really showed that this was something that was possible, that you could make a difference and be yourself,” said Quinn, who first was elected to the council in 1999. “I think Barney Frank really changed the world for a lot of people, but he certainly changed the world for LGBT individuals. …He’s really a hero to all of us.”
Frank still has a year left in his term, and I’m looking forward to another year of watching one of the nation’s leading liberal voices fight for lefty causes.