The first openly gay representative of Congress, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has announced his plans to marry his longtime partner Jim Ready, according to NBC News. The retiring congressman will wed his partner in his home, an aide for Frank told NBC.
"Look, I have a partner now, Jim Ready; I have an emotional attachment. I'm in love for the first time in my life," Frank said during an interview on "The Charlie Rose Show" earlier this month. Frank said he was excited about his retirement from congress and continuing his life with Ready.
Frank became the first openly gay Representative of Congress in 1987. Frank, never one to shy away from controversy, has been fiercely criticized by his peers, including Newt Gingrich, who places much of the blame for America's financial crisis on him.
"If you want to put people in jail," Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said in a debate in October, "you ought to start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. And let's look at the politicians who created the environment, the politicians who profited from the environment and the politicians who put this country in trouble."
When Frank, 71, announced in November he would retire following the completion of his 16th term at a press conference in Massachusetts, he fired back at Gingrich.
"I did not think I had lived a good enough life to be rewarded by Newt Gingrich being the Republican nominee," Frank said. "I look forward to debating, to take one important example, the Defense of Marriage Act with Mr. Gingrich. I think he is an ideal opponent for us."
Jim Ready, 42, is a small businessman and photographer from Maine. The two men have been seeing each other since 2007.
Gay marriage is legal in several U.S. states, including Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, and most recently, Washington, D.C.