By Shelby Clark
Openly gay politician, Barney Frank, will be in metro-Detroit this week.
Considered the most prominent gay politician in the U.S., Frank served as a U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts from 1981 to 2013. He came out in 1987 and married his longtime partner in 2012. Frank is known for his advocacy for LGBT rights, fight against discrimination and work on financial regulations aimed at preventing a recurrence of the recent financial crisis.
Frank will give a keynote address at the closing of the Holocaust Memorial Center’s exhibit that covers the lives and deaths of LGBT people during the Holocaust. The exhibit contains stories, artifacts, and more highlighting the treatment of homosexuals before and during WWII in “Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: 1933-1945.” History has documented the Nazi campaign against homosexuality that targeted more than one million German men, who under the guise of “degeneracy” threatened the “disciplined masculinity” of Germany. Denounced as “antisocial parasites” and “enemies of the state,” more than 100,000 men were arrested under a vague law against homosexuality.
According to Executive Director of the Holocaust Memorial Center, Stephen M. Goldman, “During the Holocaust, it was not just the Jews who were persecuted, but everyone who did not fit the Nazis description of the ‘perfect race.’ Through exhibits like Nazis Persecution of Homosexuals, our goal is to demonstrate how we can work with one another to make sure that something like this never happens again.”
Congressman Frank will present at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m at the center. The Holocaust Memorial Center is located at 28123 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills.
Tickets are $10 for Holocaust Memorial Center members, $18 general admission. Tickets from the originally scheduled event on Jan. 5 will be honored. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information, call 248-553-2300, ext. 24 or visit http://www.holocaustcenter.org.