Rep. Barney Frank married his partner Jim Ready Saturday in Newton, MA. Mr. Frank met his husband at a fund raiser in 2005 and they started dating in 2007 after Mr. Ready’s longtime partner, Robert Palmer, passed away after a long illness. The modest ceremony took place in the Marriott hotel in Newton and was preformed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Guests included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Kerry and Representatives Dennis J. Kucinich and Steny H. Hoyer and other close friends and family of the grooms.
Mr. Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, 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. Both bridegrooms said they recognized the historical significance of the ceremony, which lasted less than five minutes. Gov. Patrick told the guests that Mr. Frank had requested that the service “be short and to the point.”
And in vows written by the couple, Mr. Frank and Mr. Ready pledged to love each other “on MSNBC or on Fox” and “in Congress or in retirement,” a reference to Mr. Frank’s decision not to seek another term. [..]
They had long discussions about marriage; Mr. Frank wanted to be married while still serving in Washington. Mr. Ready was worried about the public scrutiny. But he remembered how he felt in high school in Tewksbury, Mass., when Mr. Frank came out publicly.
“The kids that are going to see us, and feel strong enough to be able to come out and be who they are. That gives me more encouragement that I’m doing the right thing,” he said.
Their wedding bands were made of black diamonds set in tungsten, a metal used in welding. Mr. Ready picked the material. “It helps keep me grounded, after going to lunch with the president,” he said.
The wedding took place at a no-frills Marriott hotel in Newton. (Mr. Frank said he chose the location for ease of access.) The bridegrooms planned to wear tuxedos by Joseph Abboud, which Mr. Frank noted is a union shop.
Ms. 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.”
We extend our best wishes and congratulations to Barney and Jim. Mazel Tov
In some other positive news for the LGBT community, the Episcopal Church has moved closer to allowing transgender men and women to be ordained as ministers:
INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – The U.S. Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops on Saturday approved a proposal that, if it survives a final vote, would give transgender men and women the right to become ministers in the church.
The House of Bishops voted at the church’s General Convention to include “gender identity and expression” in its “non-discrimination canons,” meaning sexual orientation, including that of people who have undergone sex-change operations, cannot be used to exclude candidates to ministry. [..]
The Episcopal Church, which has about 2 million members mostly in the United States, now allows gay men and lesbians to join the ordained ministry.
The resolutions on gender would allow transgender individuals access to enter the Episcopal lay or ordained ministries, and extend the overall non-discrimination policy to church members.
The resolutions must now be approved by the church’s House of Deputies.
Great news, indeed!