|President Obama responds to Frank's retirement|
|Written by Ryan Watkins|
|Monday, 28 November 2011 14:22|
Openly gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced today that he would not seek reelection in 2012 after more than 30 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Frank, perhaps the country's most prominent gay politician, was instrumental in advocating pro-LGBT legislation in Congress during his tenure and led financial reforms efforts after the economic collapse of 2008 as the chairman of the Financial Services Committee.
Multiple reports suggest that Frank's decision to retire from Congress was based partly on the new layout of his current congressional district.
Political and activist leaders were quick to praise Frank's work today. President Obama issued a statement earlier today:
This country has never had a Congressman like Barney Frank, and the House of Representatives will not be the same without him. For over 30 years, Barney has been a fierce advocate for the people of Massachusetts and Americans everywhere who needed a voice. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of families and businesses and helped make housing more affordable. He has stood up for the rights of LGBT Americans and fought to end discrimination against them. And it is only thanks to his leadership that we were able to pass the most sweeping financial reform in history designed to protect consumers and prevent the kind of excessive risk-taking that led to the financial crisis from ever happening again. Barney’s passion and his quick wit will be missed in the halls of Congress, and Michelle and I join the people of the Bay State in thanking him for his years of service.
A representative of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest national LGBT advocacy organization, today called Frank a “true leader” on the HRC website.
"Barney's quick wit and intelligence in the halls of Congress will not soon be forgotten. His service as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee during a time of great economic upheaval made a gay man one of the most powerful people in the country and he used that power for great good.”
Currently, there are four openly gay members of Congress, Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), David Cicilline (D-RI) and Frank. Baldwin is currently campaigning to replace Herb Kohl in the U.S. Senate.
Top photo: U.S. Rep. Barney Frank expresses doubt for any pro-LGBT legislation in the next Congressional session (courtesy photo)
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