Congressman Barney Frank in Orlando September 10 for Special ACLU Foundation of Florida Benefit

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
August 31, 2005 12:00 am

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MIAMI – U.S. Congressman Barney Frank — the funniest Congressman in Washington according to a 2004 survey of Capitol Hill staffers published in Washingtonian magazine — will be in Orlando Saturday, September 10 for a special event benefiting the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Florida.

“An Evening With Congressman Barney Frank” will take place from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Expo Centre Orlando Centroplex.

Congressman Frank, who is a Massachusetts Democrat, is an outspoken advocate of civil liberties and the first openly gay congressman. He will speak on national security issues and the need to maintain the delicate balance between freedom and security. The ACLU has been fighting attempts by government to restrict constitutional freedoms in order to allegedly make Americans more secure from terrorism.

The issue of gay rights also is of concern to Congressman Frank. Florida ranks at the top of the list when it comes to laws and policies that are hostile to the rights of gays and lesbians. Florida is the only state with a ban on gay adoptions, and there are efforts underway to insert discriminatory language into the Florida Constitution limiting marriage to a man and a woman. In a recently issued report, the ACLU of Florida argued that thousands of men, women and children in Florida could lose their much-needed health benefits if the proposed marriage ban passes.

“I’m used to being in the minority,” said Congressman Frank, who was also named the most intelligent Democratic member of the House of Representatives in the same 2004 survey. “I’m a left-handed gay Jew. I’ve never felt, automatically, a member of any majority.” Congressman Frank has represented the 4th District of Massachusetts since 1981. He is the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, and until recently was a member of the Select Committee on Homeland Security, where he served on the Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Border Security and the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism. Previously, he was a Massachusetts state representative and an assistant to the Mayor of Boston.

Congressman Frank has also taught at several Boston-area universities, including Boston University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

The evening will also include entertainment by the Orlando Gay Chorus.

Tickets can be purchased on-line by visiting

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