‘Expanding Freedom’: 72-Year-Old Barney Frank Marries 42-Year-Old Partner Jim Ready

Barney Frank and Jim Ready (Photo: AP)

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank has tied the knot with his longtime partner in a brief ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

In 1987, Frank became the first member of Congress to openly announce he was gay, and now he is becoming the first member to marry a partner of the same sex.

The two met in 2005 at a political fundraiser, where Ready said he told Frank that he had “had a crush on him for 20 years,” according to he New York Times.  Frank allegedly commented that he thought that he was “being rewarded for coming to the fund-raiser,” and the two started dating after Ready’s then-partner died in 2007.

The New York Times continues:

Still, it soon became clear that dating a congressman was not like dating other men. Mr. Frank had just been appointed chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Weekends in Maine turned into Washington sleepovers, with Mr. Ready eating takeout outside a conference room as Mr. Frank hammered out a bank bailout with figures like Henry Paulson Jr., then the Treasury secretary.

“Hank Paulson would call on a Friday afternoon and say, ‘Well, such-and-such a bank is failing,’ ” said Mr. Frank, recalling a string of broken dates. At one point, Mr. Ready confronted his boyfriend: “I was like, ‘You know what? You spend more time with flight attendants than you do with me.’”


Lawmakers on Capitol Hill said they began to see changes in their usually cantankerous colleague. “I should’ve known you were here,” said one leading House Republican after bumping into Mr. Ready in a Capitol hallway. “Barney was nice to me today.”

(Photo: AP)

More than 300 friends, family and colleagues attended the ceremony between the 72-year-old lawmaker and his 42-year-old partner.

Frank, a Democrat who is retiring after more than three decades in office, represents the 4th Congressional District in southeastern Massachusetts.

Nancy Pelosi said at the reception that it was appropriate that a landmark same-sex wedding took place around the Fourth of July.

“It’s about expanding freedom,” she said. “This opportunity was a long time coming.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.