Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank announced Thursday that he will run for re-election in 2012, The Boston Globe reported.

In making his announcement, the 70-year-old Frank suggested gay rights were among the issues he wants to continue to pursue.

“I have become convinced that making my decision to run for re-election known is important for maximizing the impact I can have on the range of issues to which I am committed,” Frank said in a statement. “These issues require a time commitment longer than the next two years.”

Frank said his top priorities were to defend the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act from repeal by Republicans and to “reduce significantly America's swollen, unnecessary, worldwide military footprint.”

“Failure to address excessive military spending will either add to the deficit or force cuts in education, police, fire, transportation, scientific research, food safety, and infrastructure investment.”

“While these two issues are central to our ability to return to a full-employment economy while protecting our quality of life, there are other national and regional issues on which I will be working as well – protecting the fishing industry in Massachusetts from arbitrary, unjust and unfair actions; fighting for full legal equality for all citizens; providing for the housing needs of low-income people, not by pushing them unwisely and unsustainably into homeownership, but rather by building affordable rental housing; and helping local communities provide a level of service adequate to the needs of their residents.”

Frank is the longest serving openly gay member of Congress. Three additional representatives – Jared Polis of Colorado, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and David Cicilline of Rhode Island – are also openly gay.

He is also a vocal advocate for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that would outlaw workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.