Scandal: Affair with a male prostitute How he was outed

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Widely regarded as one of the most intelligent and well spoken members of the House of Representatives, Barney Frank, a Democratic Congressman for nearly 30 years and the first openly gay member of the House, almost undid his career in 1989 after having an affair with Steve Gobie, a male prostitute. Although Frank was single at the time — thus not committing adultery — he did pay someone for sex (with personal funds), which is illegal in his state of Massachusetts. But the poor judgment didn’t end there. Frank hired Gobie to run errands and allowed him to live at his home, where Frank obviously hoped he would be rehabilitated and renounce his life of sin. The only problem: Gobie kept on working as a prostitute — from Frank’s home.

The Congressman maintained that he had no knowledge that his digs were being used as a brothel and said that he kicked Gobie out once he learned what the escort had been doing there. Desperate to prove his limited culpability in the case, Frank requested an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. The 10-month probe found that Frank did not, in fact, know about the happenings in his home but that he should be reprimanded for use of House privilege in waiving 33 of Gobie’s parking tickets and for writing a memo that attempted to end Gobie’s probation for a prior infraction. Despite attempts by former Idaho Congressman Larry Craig (the stall-inator) to have the Massachusetts Congressman removed, Frank went on to win several re-elections by wide margins.

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