Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank on Monday lauded Maine Rep. Mike Michaud's coming out gay.

In an editorial running in newspapers throughout Maine, Michaud, a Democrat, responded to rumors he might be gay by saying, “Yes I am. But why should it matter?”

The 58-year-old Michaud is hoping to unseat Maine Governor Paul LePage, a Republican, next year.

Frank, who 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, said that his sexuality “had no negative effect with my colleagues” and predicted a similar experience for Michaud.

“It will not detract at all from his ability” as a congressman, Frank said.

“What Mike did today is very important for the gay teenager in northern Maine where he is best known and where he is so well-respected and admired.”

Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, who is also openly gay, tweeted his support: “Congratulations to my colleague @RepMikeMichaud on coming out, living honestly; he becomes 7th openly #lgbt Representative in House.”