Barney Frank, the first member of Congress to voluntarily announce he was gay, plans to be married to his partner in a same-sex ceremony in Massachusetts, USA Today reports.
Frank, 71, a Massachusetts Democrat, believes his marriage comes at the right time as he is not running for reelection when his term expires at the end of the year. He will marry Jim Ready, 42, his partner since the spring of 2007. Ready, of Ogunquit, Maine, has a small business doing custom awnings, carpentry, painting, welding and other handyman services, said the lawmaker’s spokesman Harry Gural.
Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004. Gural did not give a date for the wedding.
Frank has served in the House since 1981 and announced he was gay in 1987. He has been a leader on gay rights issues and financial regulatory policy. A staunch liberal known for his acerbic wit, Frank has been a favorite target of criticism from Republicans.
After a tough reelection fight in 2010 and major changes to his congressional district, Frank said in November he would not run this fall.
Frank was chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2007 to 2010 and helped push through the sweeping overhaul of financial regulations along with former Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.). The legislation is formally known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in their honor.