Former Congressman Barney Frank Comes Out as an Atheist

Barney Frank

Photo of Barney Frank

From being the first person on the House of Representatives to voluntarily come out as gay in 1987, ex-Congressman Barney Frank now comes out for the second time-- as a "pot smoking atheist."

Frank's religious affiliation was revealed on the HBO talk show "Real Time with Bill Maher" on August 3, 2013.

When host Bill Maher commented on Frank's stint as a congressman and a liberal icon, "...you could come on this show, and sit next to a pot smoking atheist, and it wouldn't bother you." Frank then gamely asked which pot-smoking atheist he was referring to, while pointing to and from Maher and himself. Though he has long been known to be Jewish, it is only now that Frank was able to be open about his atheism.

Barney Frank follows in the footsteps of another Democrat, Representative Pete Stark of California, who is currently the first and only member of Congress that has publicly pronounced his atheistic views.

During the interview, Frank also shared his regret in not being appointed as a Senator since he would have liked the opportunity for him and his husband, Jim Ready, to hold the Constitution instead of the Bible and affirm (not swear) that he was going to be a great Senator. The pair married in Massachusetts in July of last year.

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