Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), the first openly gay member of Congress, is engaged to his long-time partner. The wedding will be the first same-sex marriage for a U.S. congressman.
New England Cable News reported late Thursday night that the lawmaker plans to marry Jim Ready, a 42-year-old small business owner from Maine.
The 71-year-old Frank has not issued a statement but a spokesman, Hank Gural, told the Boston Globe the marriage will be held in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriage.
Same-sex marriage is legal only in six states and the District of Columbia.
Frank, former chair of the House Financial Services Committee and one of the most vocal liberals in Congress, has been partners with Ready since 2007. He announced his decision not to seek re-election in November. He retires at the end of his term next January after being in office since 1981.
Explaining his decision, Frank had cited his long-held plans to focus on writing, the increasingly partisan politics in Washington, and a redrawn congressional district that would require him to introduce himself to 325,000 new constituents.
Frank began his career in politics in 1967 as an aide for then-Boston Mayor Kevin White. A Harvard Law School graduate, he chaired the powerful Financial Services Committee from 2007 until 2010, when Republicans gained majority control of the House.
It was during his chairmanship of the panel that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed to address the financial crisis. Conservative lawmakers have tried to repeal the landmark financial reform law, citing “job-killing” regulations and the continuing weak economy.