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Barney Frank to Marry Partner

Barney Frank to Marry Partner

 

Retiring congressman Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) has announced that he plans to marry his long-term partner Jim Ready.

A spokesperson for Frank confirmed on Thursday that he would marry Ready, a small business owner and photographer from Maine who is just under 30 years Frank’s junior. The wedding will be in Frank’s own Massachusetts, it is reported, though no set date has been issued.

Frank, who currently represents Massachusetts’ 4th congressional district, announced last fall that he would not run for re-election after his 16th term in Congress ends this year.

Frank has said that following his retirement he is looking forward to spending time with Ready, declaring in his usual straightforward manner during an appearance on PBS’ The Charlie Rose Show “I’m in love for the first time in my life.”

But Frank’s marriage will still be a political affair because, of course, he and his partner will be subject to the Defense of Marriage Act’s restrictions.

This is something that LGBT rights groups have noted in celebrating Frank’s news.

Via The Washington Post:

“It is, of course, somewhat ironic that because of DOMA and because Barney is a federal employee, Jim won’t be eligible for any of the benefits that any other spouse would be able to get,” said Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the Boston legal rights organization that brought the case that led to Massachusetts becoming the first state in the country to legalize gay marriage.

“I think it’s always positive when public figures are role models in these critical societal institutions,” Swislow added.

DOMA bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions and denies recipricocity of marriage rights across the states, so, for instance, a same-sex marriage carried out in Massachussettes need not be recognized by the state of Arizona. Crucially however, and a point of contention in several lawsuits, DOMA actually overeaches and bars the states that do recognize same-sex marriage from granting full equality in how they treat same-sex spouses.

Frank, who is 71 and won his seat in the U.S. House in 1980, has in the past testified repeatedly on issues regarding LGBT rights, including the federal Employment Non Discrimination Act, and has repeatedly advocated for same-sex marriage rights both in his home state and at the federal level.

Frank has also recently contributed to a number of “It Gets Better” and LGBT youth advocacy projects here.

Care2 wishes Frank and his partner the very best of happiness for their coming married life together.

Related Reading:

48 States Now Have Openly Gay Politicians

House Dems Still Want DOMA Defense Hearing

Rep. Frank to LGBT Teens: You Are Making It Better

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to World Economic Forum.

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67 comments

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3:59PM PST on Feb 2, 2012

Congratulations Barney!!! Hope with your upcoming marriage, you'll withdraw your resignation and continue to be one our most notable and prestigious congressman!!!!

7:21PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

Best Wishes for a Happy Future!

1:31PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

Come to hear Barney Frank speak at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Mass., tonight, and congratulate him and Jim Ready!

9:55PM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Congrats!

4:11PM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Barney and Jim, congratulations! Equality is coming. :) Barney, thank you for your service on the behalf of all of us. May your retirement be well spent with the man you love, and may your marriage last for the rest of your life. :)

2:56PM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Congrats. Cross bussing started when I was in junior high, what we now call middle school. Although even then I thought it was bad for the environment, I was so glad it happened. People were forced together and learned that we were all okay. In the military and in major league baseball people had to learn we were all okay. I hope in another generation or two, as we learn to co-exist with the gay "minority" it will just be excepted that gays have all the same rights, status and respect that the rest of the country enjoys.

12:22PM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Very best wishes to them.

12:13PM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Congratulations!! Godspeed, too.

12:10PM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Congratulations Barney and Jim. God bless you both

2:52AM PST on Jan 29, 2012

Congratulations and I am so happy that he and other alive today are beginning to have a shot at full equality.

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