Retiring Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank says President Barack Obama's support for gay marriage helped him get reelected.

The 72-year-old Frank has the distinction of being the first openly gay member of Congress and the first to enter a marriage with a member of the same sex.

While Frank won't return next year, he commented on Tuesday's historic elections with's Alex Seitz-Wald.

“I was very happy,” he said of the returns. “I expected good news, but wasn't planning on perfect news.”

Voters on Tuesday elected at least six and as many as seven openly LGBT candidates to Congress, including the nation's first senator, and handed wins to gay marriage supporters in four states.

“It's a significant increase. And then to win all four of the referenda? It was very good news.”

“I think what it shows is that reality beats prejudice. When you're fighting against discrimination, you're in a kind of a vicious cycle. People are prejudiced so you can't change the law, and because you can't change the law, there's no way to break the prejudice. In other words, people are told same-sex marriage will cause all these terrible problems. Once you have same-sex marriage, it's very clear it causes zero problems. So trying to break out of that cycle is important. But we've now, I think, reached critical mass to break out of that cycle.”

“There's another important factor: Barack Obama won a tough race, and the fact that he supported same-sex marriage almost certainly helped him and didn't hurt him. There was no sign that coming out for same-sex marriage in any way hurt Barack Obama,” Frank added.