Dem fundraiser honors 25th anniversary of Rep. Barney Frank's coming out

House Democrats will hold a fundraiser next week honoring the 25th anniversary of Rep. Barney's Frank (D-Mass.) coming out of the closet.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) will join Frank for a reception on the rooftop of El Centro DF, a popular Mexican restaurant in Northwest Washington.

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Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), another openly gay member of Congress, penned the email that the DCCC sent to supporters inviting them to the event.

"Barney is an inspiration to all of us as one of the first openly gay congressmen to serve in the House," Polis wrote. "This event will be particularly moving for me as it will be one of our last events with him before he retires this year."

Tickets for the May 30 event range from $100 for an individual to $5,000 for PACs or those who want to co-host the event.

Democrats have been aggressively raising money from gay and lesbian donors and their allies in the two weeks since President Obama declared his support for gay marriage during a television interview. His campaign said it raised $1.5 million in the 90 minutes after the interview aired. A review of Obama's bundlers by The Washington Post found that 1 in 6 are openly gay.

Frank revealed he was gay in 1987 in an interview with a reporter, becoming the first member of Congress to do so voluntarily. He became a leading voice for gay rights in the House during his 16 terms but announced in November his intention to retire from Congress.

In January, Frank announced that he will marry his long-time partner, Jim Ready, in Massachusetts.

More recently, Frank said that Obama won't be invited, citing the security headache it would create.

"If he and Michelle wanted to come, I would be delighted and honored to have them, but he will bring the Secret Service," Frank told C-Span's "Newsmakers" program last Friday.

"I don’t want to be accused of having shut down the entire region for a five-mile radius on a holiday weekend."

Mike Lillis contributed.


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