Press Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | November 28, 2011

NCLR Responds to Congressman Barney Frank’s Retirement After 30 Years of Service

Statement by NCLR Federal Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.


(San Francisco, November 28, 2011)—Today, Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass) announced he would not seek reelection in 2012, which signals an end to a 16-term congressional career that has spanned 30 years.

Frank was first elected in 1981, and in 1987, became the first sitting member of Congress to publicly come out as gay. Since that time, he has become a leading lawmaker advancing the rights of the LGBT community. He has been instrumental in the passage of a number of pro-equality pieces of legislation including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the repeal of the U.S. military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.:

“Congressman Barney Frank has been a strong and unapologetic leader in Congress on gay issues for more than two decades, courageously serving as the first openly gay Congressperson when Bowers v. Hardwick was still law. Time after time, Congressman Frank has stood tall and put himself personally on the line to change the way that those on Capitol Hill and all branches of government treat LGBT people. Others have followed in his footsteps, but he led the way. We would not be where we are today as a movement or as a nation without Congressman Frank’s leadership. His particular brand of fierce and unyielding leadership on behalf of the LGBT community—and on so many issues of critical import to the nation—will be sorely missed when he retires.”


The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

media contacts:


Erik Olvera
Director of Communications
National Center for Lesbian Rights
office: 415.392.6257 x324

Bethany Woolman
Communications Associate
National Center for Lesbian Rights
office: 415.392.6257 x305


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