Engaged: Barney Frank and Longtime Boyfriend Jim Ready
Just a few months after announcing his retirement from Congress, Democratic Rep. Barney Frank's spokesman, Harry Gural, said that Frank is engaged to his longtime partner Jim Ready and the couple plans to marry in Massachusetts, according to CNN.
Gural did not provide any further information, such as when the wedding will take place and added that, "Frank has no plans to say anything more about the event."
When the LGBT political action committee heard of Barney's engagement they released a statement showing their full support.
"We are thrilled for Barney and Jim, and offer them both our congratulations and best wishes," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund. "As one of the world's most visible out elected officials, Barney Frank has long used his position and influence to draw attention to the freedoms LGBT Americans deserve but still do not enjoy. It's fitting that as his time in Congress comes to a close, he will finally take advantage of the freedom to marry in his home state of Massachusetts."
Frank, 71, and Ready, 42, met at a gay political fundraiser in Maine in 2007. Currently, Ready resides in Ogunquit, Maine, which is located on the state's southeast coast. Ready owns a small business doing custom awnings, carpentry, painting, welding and other services.
Frank has represented Massachusetts' Fourth Congressional District since 1981 and said that he would leave Congress at the end of his current term, EDGE reported in a Dec. 2011, article.
In 1987, Frank publically came out of the closet due to the death of closeted bisexual Republican representative from Connecticut, Stewart McKinney. He told the Washington Post that there was "An unfortunate debate about 'Was he or wasn't he? Didn't he or did he?' I said to myself, I don't want that to happen to me."
When the conservative right wing and anti-gay website Free Republic reported Frank's engagement, several readers left insensitive and homophobic comments.
"Sick perverts...the kind of people moderates and liberals promote and protect...just as Romney did in Mass....," one person wrote. Another said, "I wonder which one of them is going on 'Say Yes to the Dress?'"
One passionate reader wrote, "Marry?!? Two Men?!? Impossible?!? The bible and every major religious text in the world defines marriage as a union between one man and one women...Oh you must be talking about government sanctioned union between two people of the same sex, that some politicians, bureaucrats, and liberal courts have said must be called a 'marriage'. I suppose it makes them feel better to play 'pretend' but it's no more a marriage than if the same bureaucrats told you that you must call your pet cat a dog, would make your feline turn into a canine."
Despite the haters' assertion that gay marriage would wreck the institution, Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriages, remains one of the states with the lowest divorce rates. The lowest? New Jersey, followed closely by New York. The highest rates are in the heart of the Bible Belt, led by Oklahoma.
Prior to Ready, Frank had an 11-year relationship with economist and gay activist Herb Moses, which ended amicably in 1998.
Elsewhere on the political marriage front, New York State Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell, brother of Rosie, signed a a marriage license in New York City Hall with his partner of 31 years, John Banta. He plans a huge ceremony in the city on Sunday that will include most of the state's Democratic movers and shakers.