PROGRAM

The LGBTQ Policy Center at Roosevelt House invites you to a special conversation with Former Congressman Barney Frank 

For nearly two decades, Barney Frank was the most prominent openly gay member of the United States Congress.  First elected to represent the 4th Congressional District of Massachusetts in 1980, he came out as openly gay in 1987.  In 2012, he became the first member of Congress to marry someone of his own sex.  Congressional staffers regularly voted him the smartest member of the House.

As chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Frank was one of the two principal authors of the Dodd-Frank act, which brought about the most sweeping reform of the financial services industry in modern times.

After Congressman Frank’s opening remarks at Roosevelt House, a panel of four Hunter undergraduates,Andrew Shkreli, Cat Watson, Jackie Fennell, and Sergio Mota will interview him about the future challenges facing the LGBTQ movement.

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Barney Frank was elected to Congress in 1980 after serving eight years in the Massachusetts Legislature.  When he began his career in public life, he believed he could either be an openly gay man or a public official, but not both.  He filled the seat held by Father Robert Drinan, who had left Congress following a call by Pope John Paul II for priests to withdraw from political positions.  In a four-way primary race, Frank won 52% of the vote, then won by the same percentage in the general election. Frank did not again face another serious race for a quarter-century.

When he came out as gay in 1987, Speaker Tip O’Neill expressed regret, saying he thought Frank could have become the first Jewish Speaker of the House had he remained closeted.  As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank nonetheless became the most powerful openly gay public official in the Federal Government.  In 2012, he married Jim Ready, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi among the wedding guests.

The Congressman retired in 2012, and in 2015 published his autobiography, Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage. Frank and his husband live in Ogunquit Maine, and Frank remains a frequent commentator on MSNBC and other television outlets.


Special Conversation with former Congressman Barney Frank —  Fifty years after Stonewall: What have we accomplished? Where do we go from here? | Posted on April 9th, 2019 | Public Programs