Rep. Barney Frank announces he will not seek re-election, Task Force thanks him for his service

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (at podium) speaking at March 16 DOMA repeal press conference as Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey and others look on.

The Task Force responded today to the announcement by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that he will not seek re-election in 2012. Frank was first elected to Massachusetts 4th Congressional District in 1980 and came out publicly as gay in 1987. He is the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, and its former chairman, making him one of the most influential gay leaders in America.

Statement by Rea Carey, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

Barney Frank is one of a kind. He has brought his own brand of brashness, boldness, unmatched wit, discipline and skill to Capitol Hill, at times ingratiating and infuriating friend and foe alike. We thank him for his years of service. As an openly gay member of Congress for nearly a quarter century, Barney Frank has made his mark on history. Yet his legacy is much more than that — for 30 years, he has dedicated himself to bettering the lives of the people he serves, and the country he serves. His voice — often loud and uncompromising — will be missed by many, including me.