Barney FrankBarneyFrank

What was the accusation?

Barney Frank, a gay Congressman from Massachusetts, served in the House of Representatives from 1981 to 2013.  Prior to his formal coming out of the closet, he hired a male prostitute, Steve Gobie, for sex and they developed a friendly long-term relationship where Frank was providing financial support to Gobie.  However, Gobie continued to work as a prostitute and engaged in various illegal activities while residing in Frank’s home.  The story was leaked to the press by Gobie himself and there were calls in Congress for Frank to be investigated.  Eventually, the House Ethics Committee would find no evidence that Frank was personally involved in any illegal activity or that he had even known about it.  However, Frank was publicly reprimanded in a House vote for his role in using his congressional office to help fix some of Gobie’s numerous parking tickets.

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Some of my friends have asked me why did I do something so dumb? The best answer I can give is that this was a very difficult time in my life. Dealing with being gay, while continuing to meet my public obligations, created tremendous internal pressures. Those pressures ended when I spoke publicly about my own personal identity. Not coincidentally, my judgment has improved since then. I hope you will accept my apology.


Frank apologizes to backers in letter (1989, September 23). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from:

Gold, A. (1989, August 26). Rep. Frank acknowledges hiring male prostitute as personal aide. New York Times. Retrieved from:

Stewart, R. (1990, July 27). House votes to reprimand frank for ethics violations. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from: