Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Barney Frank outs Sam Rayburn

In Philip Gambone’s interview with Massachusetts Congressional Representative Barney Frank, Frank recalls that, shortly after he came out publicly, House Speaker Tip O’Neill said to him, “ ‘Oh, Barney, I’m so sorry. I thought you were going to be the first Jewish Speaker,’ meaning that as an out gay man I couldn’t become Speaker. I could have told him that there had already been two gay Speakers: Joe Martin and Sam Rayburn.”

The office building for Congressional Reps is named after Sam Rayburn. Rayburn, according to Wikipedia, “was a Democratic lawmaker from Bonham, Texas, who served as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for seventeen years, the longest tenure in U.S. history.”

Joseph Martin was a Massachusetts Republican and served as Speaker in a couple two year periods in the 40s and 50s.

I don’t know where Barney Frank got his information on the personal lives of these two men. But, you know, on this I’ll trust Barney.

source: Travels in a Gay Nation: portraits of LGBTQ Americans by Philip Gambone

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