Barney Frank is a liberal's liberal. He called Bill O'Reilly "boorish," on live TV, dismissed Michelle Bachmann as "an odd lady," and famously responded to a woman who compared Obama to Hitler with, "Arguing with you is like arguing with a dining room table. I have no desire to do it." During his 30 years in Congress, Frank opposed the war in Iraq, encouraged efforts to legalize marijuana, and always advocated for stricter regulation of Wall Street firms.
But beyond the colorful outbursts and progressive pedigree, Frank is also a civil rights trailblazer. He was the first member of Congress to voluntarily come out as gay, and the first to serve while in a same-sex marriage. When he married his partner Jim Ready in 2012, the couple made sure their tuxedos were from a union shop - that's just how Barney Frank rolls. He'll be in conversation tonight with Scott Schafer of the California Report. Schafer will not bring his dining room table.
Barney Frank speaks Monday May 13 at 6 p.m. at the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market, S.F. Admission is $15-$45; call 597-6700 or visit commonwealthclub.org.