Barnett "Barney" Frank is an American politician who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1981 to 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee(2007–2011) and was a leading co-sponsor of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act, a sweeping reform of the U.S.financial industry. Frank is considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States.
Frank was born on March 31, 1940 in Bayonne, New Jersey. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980 with 52 percent of the vote. He has been re-elected every year since by wide margins. In 1987, he came out as gay, becoming the first member of Congress to do so voluntarily. From 2003 until his retirement, Frank was the leading Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, and he served as committee chairman when his party held a House majority from 2007 to 2011. In July 2012, he married his long-time partner, James Ready, becoming the first member of Congress to marry someone of the same sex while in office. Frank did not seek re-election in 2012, and retired from Congress at the end of his term in January 2013.
LGBT History Month celebrates the achievements of many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who have contributed significantly in several ways to the advancement of our community. Limited by the number of days on the calendar, showcasing every individual who has made a major impact would be difficult. Yet, across decades and eras, revolutions and wars, and discovery and enlightenment, SPART*A honors past and present LGBT figures in our history this month.