Democrats to Observe Barney Frank's 25th 'Coming Out' Anniversary With Fundraiser

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will be honoring retiring member Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.) next week for the 25th anniversary of his "coming out of the closet" as an openly gay congressman.

The DCCC is organizing the fundraiser hosted by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the House Minority Leader, and DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) at a restaurant in Washington, D.C., according to USA Today. Tickets for the May 30 Democratic fundraising event start at $100 for individuals and go up to $5000 for PACs.

"Barney is an inspiration to all of us as one of the first openly gay congressmen to serve in the House," his openly gay colleague Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) wrote in an email sent by the DCCC. "This event will be particularly moving for me as it will be one of our last events with him before he retires this year."

In 1987 Frank publicly announced he was homosexual after finding out he would soon be outed in a news story. Since that time he has become a leading voice in Congress on issues of importance to the homosexual community.

He is also known for protecting mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prior to the collapse of the housing market while serving as chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services. He has also advocated for the legalization of marijuana.

The Massachusetts representative is planning to marry his longtime partner Jim Ready later this year, and said last Friday on C-Span's "Newsmakers" that he will not be inviting President and Mrs. Obama to the ceremony because of the commotion the Secret Service would cause.