On Saturday Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) married his longtime partner Jim Ready, becoming the first sitting member of congress to marry a same-sex partner. Frank and Ready met in 2005 at a political fundraiser in support of gay rights and nondiscrimination legislation for the LGBTQ community. The couple was married in Newton, Massachusetts, part of Frank’s district.
Rep. Frank has served in Congress since 1981, and in 1987 made history as the first openly gay member of Congress. He plans to retire at the end of the current term. The New York Times reports that Frank wanted to be married while still serving in Washington, and while Ready initially had reservations about public scrutiny, he ultimately changed his mind. “The kids that are going to see us, and feel strong enough to be able to come out and be who they are. That gives me more encouragement that I’m doing the right thing,” said Ready.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a supporter of marriage equality, officiated the ceremony with the following vows, created by the couple: “Do you promise to love each other and be each other’s best friend, In sickness and in health, In Congress or in retirement, Whether the surf is up or the surf’s flat, For richer or for poorer, Under the Democrats or the Republicans, Whether the slopes are powdery or icy, Whether the book reviews are good or bad, For better or for worse, On MSNBC or on Fox, For as long as you both shall live?”
Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in eight of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Massachusetts became the first state in the country to permit same-sex marriage in 2004, and since then more than 18,000 same-sex couples have been married in the state.
Media Resources: New York Times 7/7/2012; The Boston Globe 7/8/2012; Reuters 7/8/2012; GLAAD 7/9/2012