US Representative Barney Frank and his longtime partner, Jim Ready, were married by Governor Deval Patrick at 6:25 p.m. Saturday before 300 friends, family and colleagues, according to a statement by Frank spokesman Harry Gural.
Frank, 72, and Ready, 42, had vowed to love each other through Democratic and Republican administrations alike, and even through appearances on Fox News, according to Al Green, a Democratic congressman from Texas.
Wedding took place at the Boston Marriott hotel in Newton. According to The New York Times, the guests included Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, as well as Senator John Kerry and Representatives Dennis J. Kucinich and Steny H. Hoyer.
President Obama was not invited because Frank said he did not want the Secret Service presence to inconvenience the town or his guests.
Nancy Pelosi said at the reception on Saturday that it was appropriate that a landmark same-sex wedding take place around the Fourth of July. “It’s about expanding freedom,” she said. “This opportunity was a long time coming.”
Barney Frank, a 72-year-old Newton Democrat, has served in Congress since 1981 and was one of the first openly gay politicians in national office. Before he was elected to Congress, he served eight years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, writes Boston Globe.
The 42-year-old Ready lives in Ogunquit, Maine. He works as a photographer and runs a small business that does custom awnings, carpentry, painting, welding, and other services, according to the statement from Gural.
Frank became, in 1987, the first sitting member of Congress to volunteer that he was gay. He is now the first to be married to a partner of the same sex.
“Barney was beaming,” said Al Green, a Democratic congressman from 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.
“He’s a wonderful person,” Green said. “[Frank] is one of the most brilliant persons I’ve ever known.”
After exchanging their vows, Frank and Ready embraced each other, Green 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.
In January Frank’s office announced he would marry Ready, whom he met at a political fundraiser in Ready’s home state of Maine.
Frank won a seat in Congress in 1980 and said he will retire at the end of the current term, according to The Huff Post.
Besides championing financial reform and the rights of fisherman, Frank has been a vocal supporter of gay rights, which have been gathering support in public opinion polls and U.S. high courts.
In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the country where same-sex couples could be legally married. More than 18,000 same-sex couples since then have wed in Massachusetts.