July 8, 2012 | by Chris Johnson
Barney Frank marries longtime partner

Barney Frank (left) and Jim Ready at their wedding ceremony (photo courtesy Frank’s office)

Rep. Barney Frank married his longtime partner in a ceremony on Saturday in Newton, Mass., and became the first member of Congress to be in a same-sex marriage while serving in office.

Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who’s set to retire at the end of this year, married Jim Ready at the Boston Marriot hotel. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick officiated over the ceremony, which was attended by more than 300 friends, family, and colleagues.

Ready, 42, lives in Ogunquit, Maine, and owns a small business that does custom awnings, carpentry, painting, welding and other services. Frank, 72, has represented the Fourth District of Massachusetts in the United States Congress since 1981 and publicly came out as gay in 1987.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts because the state legalized it in 2004 by court order, becoming the first in the country to do so. However, because of the Defense of Marriage Act, Frank and Ready won’t be able to enjoy the federal benefits or marriage. For example, Ready won’t have access to the health benefits under the Federal Employees’ Health Benefit Plan afforded to the spouses of straight members of Congress.

The New York Times has a detailed article on the ceremony. According to the newspaper, guests included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio).

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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