Love & Politics: Barney Frank to marry longtime partner

Will it be Barney Ready or Jim Frank?

Was one of first members of Congress to say he was gay

By Walter Brooks

Jim Ready and Barney Frank at election celebration.
dage which says, "An old man in love is like a rose inwineter.

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Barney Frank has been a fixture in the South Shore political scene forever, most recently representing Wareham through Fall River on the south coast in the U. S. Congress.

Frank came out in 1987, becoming one of the first openly gay members of Congress.

He remains just one of seven gay representatives in its history.

This reporters litmus test for gay pols is simple: the one who rant loudest condemning homosexuality and the most likely to be closeted-gays themselves.

Only another former Congressman, Gerry Studds, came out before Barney, and Gerry represented this area in Congress as well.

Some Republicans voiced fear it might be something in our water here in southeastern Massachusetts.

Barney meets Jim

Frank met Ready in 2005 at a political fundraiser in Maine, and they began a relationship in January 2007 after the death of Ready's partner.

Speaking to the Washington Blade recently, Jim Ready recalled how the Congressman first caught his eye when he came out as gay in 1987, after his partner was arrested for prostitution.

71-year old Barney told the media this week that it's the first time in his long life that he's ever been in love. There's an old Italian adage which says, "An old man in love is like a rose in winter."

"An old man in love
 is like a rose in winter."
Barney Frank has been the U.S. Representative for the Massachusetts 4th Congressional District for over 30 years. A member of the Democratic Party, he is the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (2007–2011) and is considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Frank graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He worked as a political aide before winning election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1972.

He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980 with 52 percent of the vote. He has been re-elected ever since by wide margins.

It's been a big week for gay marriage

  • Newt Gingrich compared gay marriage to paganism. "The effort to create alternatives to marriage between a man and a woman are perfectly natural pagan behaviors, but they are a fundamental violation of our civilization."
  • Chris Christie nominated an openly gay Asian male to be a State Supreme Court Justice. Still opposed to gay marriage himself, he said, "I'm not someone who changes positions with the grace of a ballerina, I wouldn't be all atwitter in expectation."
  • Starbucks voiced its support for gay marriage in Washington where the company is headquartered. The coffee giant joined Microsoft, Nike and other corporations that have voiced their support for the issue, publishing a letter announcing that it backs same sex unions.
  • Maine gay marriage advocates have reportedly collected twice the necessary signatures.

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