- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank is the keynote speaker at the largest of Maine’s events honoring the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rachel Talbot Ross, president of the NAACP’s Portland chapter, said Frank provides “an intelligent and experienced voice at a time when many of the gains in our civil and human rights are under attack and the calls for justice are being heard from every corner of the country.”

Frank, a vocal supporter of gay rights, became the first member of Congress to voluntarily acknowledge that he is gay in the late 1980s. He married a Mainer, James Ready, in 2012.

The Portland NAACP chapter traditionally sponsors the Martin Luther King Day breakfast, which this year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1964.

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