President Obama called gay longtime Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) a “fierce advocate” for all Americans in a statement Monday after news broke the lawmaker would be retiring from Congress.
The complete statement follows:
“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.
Obama’s statement recalls remarks the president made in December 2008 in which he called himself a “fierce advocate for gay and lesbian Americans.” Activists have pressured Obama to fulfill that characterization of himself by pushing him to move forward with LGBT rights.