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Barney Frank weds partner, becomes first U.S. Congressman to enter into same-sex marriage

Sunday, July 8, 2012

BOSTON — Openly gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on Saturday wed his partner of five years, James Ready, becoming the first sitting member of the U.S. Congress to enter into a same-sex marriage.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) officiated the private ceremony, which was attended by family, invited guests and political luminaries including Nancy Pelosi, top Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Niki Tsongas, a Massachusetts Democratic representative.

Barney Frank (left) and James Ready

Frank had told Reuters earlier that he and his husband were not going to allow members of the media.

In his remarks, Gov. Patrick quipped that Frank, 72, and Ready, 42, had vowed to love each other through Democratic and Republican administrations alike, and even through appearances on Fox News.

“Barney was beaming,” said U.S. Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who attended the ceremony.

He added that Frank, a champion of gay rights and the sweeping reform of Wall Street, shed a tear during the ceremony. After exchanging their vows, Frank and Ready embraced each other, he said.

“It was no different than any other wedding I’ve attended when you have two people who are in love with each other,” Green said.

The couple, together since 2007, had announced via a press release from Frank’s office in January they would marry shortly before Frank retired at the end of his current term.

Ready, who lives in Ogunquit, Maine, is a carpenter by profession. He and the congressman met at a political fundraiser in Ready’s home state of Maine.

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36 more reader comments:

  1. Congrats, Barney!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:12am
  2. Congratulations to you Barney!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:13am
  3. Wonderful news: kudos to Barney, his husband, and his state that allows such milestones!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:20am
  4. Many congrats C-Man !

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:21am
  5. Mazeltov!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:21am
  6. Maybe one day i will enjoy such freedoms…..

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:24am
  7. Did the Romneys send them a wedding present?? But, it’s great American elected representatives are coming out. We’ve had sitting gay/lesbian elected representatives, in Canada, for 2 decades.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:28am
  8. Mazel Tov, Barney! And thank you for all your years of service.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:36am

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:41am
  10. It’s about time!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 10:07am
  11. Many Congrat’s and thanks you Barney for your service for Righteousness. Oh James is quite handsome, AMOUR!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 10:07am
  12. Good for you, Barney!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 10:12am
  13. Congrats to the happy couple, and many thanks to Barney for all his many years of service to our country, and to gay rights!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 10:19am
  14. Congratulations!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 10:39am
  15. Welcome to the future!!! <3

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 10:53am
  16. Congratulations!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 10:59am
  17. Funny that he has been serving in one of the ruling bodies of this country for so long and YET his marriage is STILL not recognized by same said body… *sighs*

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 12:14pm
  18. Fantastic!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 12:55pm
  19. Best wishes!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 1:59pm
  20. Congrats, Mr.Frank you deserve love that’s amazing and brilliant.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 2:14pm
  21. Best wishes and congratulations Barney and Jim, may you have a wonderful life together. Barney I am going to miss have you as out Rep. I still have one of your personal letter from years ago when we wrote letters.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 2:23pm
  22. I love Barney. I will miss him so much. Hope he stays visible and vocal.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 3:54pm
  23. Congratulations! Coming soon is the right of all of us adult, US citizens to be married. But only if we get out there and vote for OBAMA 2012!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 3:56pm
  24. Always been a fan of Barney’s since his days as my congressman and assemblyman.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 8:20pm
  25. congratulations Mr Frank ! :D

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 8:21pm
  26. Congratulations to the happy couple and many, many years of health and happiness to both of them.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 8:22pm
  27. Congrats!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 8:24pm
  28. We need 60 new Barney Franks in Congress. Best wishes for a life outside the glare.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 8:24pm
  29. Way to go Barney. I may not agree with everything you stand for, but this is the one thing that we do agree upon, and I completely stand with you on this issue. Wish you nothing but Love and Happiness for you and your Husband. Wow it must feel so great to say you and your husband are happily married. Congrats to you both.

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 8:25pm
  30. So awesome. :)

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:01pm
  31. thats beautiful much love and happiness for Barney and James wishes!…Lioness

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:02pm
  32. Congrads to the happy couple

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:08pm
  33. Now can I have that same right and we’d in Ohio pls!!!

    Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 11:34pm
  34. We knew in the agenda that this is what many want now…

    Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 12:34am
  35. proud of these real brave men..

    Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 12:33pm
  36. CONGRATS!!! Wish you many happy years together … And thank you, Mr. Frank, for all of your years of service to our country and for paving the way forward for future leaders. I’ve enjoyed hearing your words of wisdom many times on Rachael Maddow’s MSNBC cable news show. She’s my favorite. (Very intelligent woman with such a genuine warm & friendly personality – gotta love her! :-)

    The latest polls reflect that public opinion is shifting in favor of same-sex marriage, little by slow. But, if those of us being discriminated against and those of the majority who understand why it is so vitally important for our nation to protect the constitutional rights of every citizen, don’t bother participating in the democratic process of voting, as flawed and corrupt as the system is right now, then our nation will soon be controlled by a radically conservative, but very politically active segment of our population.

    The GOP is not the same party as it was when Reagan was president. Controlled by the Tea Party’s ideology, today’s Republican Party is rapidly moving further and further to the extreme right on social issues, and that’s not just limited to gay rights. If we all sit on the sidelines and remain silent, we will regret our apathy and unwillingness to get involved when we no longer have the civil rights that the progressives of previous generations gave us. They had the guts to stand up to the majority when they were being treated unfairly. Let’s not forget the struggles and sacrifices that our ancestors endured so that we would have a brighter future … It’s now our turn to set a good example and pave the way forward for today’s youth ….. We can’t give up the fight for FREEDOM just because it’s uncomfortable.

    Please forgive me for preaching to the choir, but ya never know who may see our conversation on FB. Perhaps our dialogue will bring light to this subject and encourage another American to go within and do some soul-searching and maybe even decide to take another look the man/woman in the mirror with a new pair of glasses. Now, looking straight into the eyes, the windows of the soul, of the reflection staring back, this person, intuitively, takes the next step.

    So if you or I were this person, think about what it really means to be FREE in America and visualize in your mind’s eye that beautiful clear day when every single American can enjoy the same Freedoms that, until this moment of clarity, you or I may have taken for granted.

    Who knows, maybe this conversation between many FB friends will be the spark that ignites the flame that motivates this person to take a walk in another man/woman’s shoes who is discriminated against. Think about what it actually feels like to be pushed aside as inferior, less than human, unworthy of being treated with the same respect and dignity as the rest of the society in which you live. Or if you happen to be more of a left-brained thinker, would you take notice if it affected your pocketbook? Would you be just a little pissed off if the main reason you couldn’t afford to join your neighbors on a cruise that they paid for with this year’s tax refund check was because your life-partner of 25 years was of the same sex? So even though you were both productive members of society, made an honest living, but just happened to be gay, you were required by law to pay much higher income taxes than the newlywed couple living next door. I bet you’d find the SAME-SEX MARRIAGE issue more $important if it was you whose government doesn’t recognize your long-time committed relationship, a same-sex family with 2 kids and a dog, as valid, thus excluding you from the financial $benefit of filing a joint tax return like heterosexual “normal” married couples.

    So as far as this Gay American citizen is concerned, same-sex marriage is a cause worth my “inconvenience,” even as a single man, so that my gay brothers and sisters are treated fairly, and perhaps one day I, too, can legally marry and experience what it feels like to be accepted and treated fairly in America. Not asking for special treatment – just EQUAL treatment.

    With great gratitude, I know that it is truly a blessing to have been born here in the Land of the Free. The civil rights that far too many American citizens just take for granted today were not handed on a silver platter to the discriminated minorities by the majority. Those brave Americans who stood up to public opinion because they knew it was the right thing to do, paved the way for future generations. Progressive change didn’t just happen one sunny day in Pleasantville, USA. No, it was the passion, blood, sweat, and tears of all those courageous Americans from past generations who said “enough is enough!”

    These pioneers knew that FREEDOM was worth the “inconvenience.” So against all odds, they stood up for what they believed in and were willing to do whatever it took to educate and enlighten the minds of the majority. Many even sacrificed their own lives fighting for equal rights for all US citizens.

    We still have a lot of work to do, but as American history so clearly shows, eventually, We, the People, do the right thing. This is American PROGRESS (progressive) …. and it continues …. And that’s why I’m proud to be an American and continue to have faith in the people of OUR LAND OF THE FREE!

    I’m sure glad that President Obama had the courage, the compassion, and the empathy to sign into law Equal $Pay for Women and put an end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” so that gays can now serve in our military openly and honestly, and with great PRIDE to protect the FREEDOMS of ALL AMERICANS.
    And, once again, President Obama has made history by humbly putting on a new pair of glasses and being willing to take another look at SAME-SEX MARRIAGE through the innocent eyes of a child, actually two children, his daughters, Sasha & Melia. LIFE is CHANGE …. Let’s keep moving forward.
    PEACE. :-)

    Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 12:38pm