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Barney Frank and Jim Ready, Newlyweds
July 7, 2012 7:08 PM   Subscribe

Barney Frank has married Jim Ready, his boyfriend of several years [NYT], in a quiet ceremony officiated by MA Governor Deval L. Patrick on the banks of the Charles River in Newton, MA. Frank becomes not only the first out gay Congressman in the US, but now the first one to enter into same-sex marriage.
posted by hippybear (70 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Congratulations, Representative Frank and your new husband!
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 7:10 PM on July 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Gerry Studds was the first out gay Congressman (and his widower, Dean Hara, who does not get Studds's Congressional pension because of fucking DOMA, is very active in the marriage equality movement). Studds and Hara didn't marry until several years after the former had retired from Congress, though.

Congratulations to Barney and Jim! May they have many years of joy together.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:13 PM on July 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, could Barney Frank BE any cuter?

(Also, America will sorely miss the mouth on him when he retires.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:15 PM on July 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Barney FRANK!
Barney FRANK!
Gads about the House all day!

(This is so very cool.)

I am honored to live to the day that Barney Frank could get married.
posted by eriko at 7:20 PM on July 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, could Barney Frank BE any cuter?


No, none cuter! How awesome.
posted by sweetkid at 7:21 PM on July 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mr. Frank, 72, and Mr. Ready, 42

With this kind of age-gap, we're slowly edging toward gay/straight parity, but frankly, I won't be satisfied 'til we see a HuffPo slideshow of Jim Ready's pecs and the SWIMSUIT YOU NEED TO SEE TO BELIEVE
posted by Greg Nog at 7:24 PM on July 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


I won't be satisfied

I hear ya. *wink*
posted by hippybear at 7:25 PM on July 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Consider my cockles warmed.
posted by wierdo at 7:29 PM on July 7, 2012


Congrats!!!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:31 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Congratulations to the two of them! I don't remember the last time a congressman made me smile this much.
posted by a hat out of hell at 7:35 PM on July 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hurray! They look so happy and cute! :D
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:37 PM on July 7, 2012


Damn, I always had this distant fantasy that maybe I'd meet Mr. Frank in Provincetown at some tea dance and he and I would find we were sympatico. But now he's a married man. Good for them!
posted by Nelson at 7:40 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The most straightforward man in Congress is named "Frank" and he finally gets to marry a dude named "Ready"? Fantastic.
posted by jcreigh at 7:44 PM on July 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Congrats!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:46 PM on July 7, 2012


Wonderful news! However, Sidhedevil raises an important point--DOMA will fuck with their marriage (e.g., congressional health insurance and pensions). Maybe the high profile of Frank and Ready's union will shed some light on how backward federal marriage law is.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:46 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The high five and the smug smile, oh god, they're adorable.
posted by dabitch at 7:57 PM on July 7, 2012


Congrats, Barney. (Is it wrong that I wish his husband could be named Fred?)
posted by jonmc at 8:02 PM on July 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Adorbz
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:02 PM on July 7, 2012


I'm straight. I don't find them adorable. My mom said, "Love is good where ever you find it". I believe the same. Congrats.
posted by Mojojojo at 8:09 PM on July 7, 2012


Congratulations. Maybe Obama could repeal the DOMA as a wedding gift.
posted by Slinga at 8:10 PM on July 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe Obama could repeal the DOMA as a wedding gift.

Sadly, the POTUS' authority doesn't extend as far as actually undoing acts of Congress. He's done as much as he can by executive order -- not pursuing legal cases based on DOMA, not deporting foreign halves of couples who are awaiting residency hearings, etc.

It looks like DOMA is headed to the SCOTUS in the next session, so we'll see what comes of that.
posted by hippybear at 8:13 PM on July 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Beyond awesome!
posted by futz at 8:14 PM on July 7, 2012


Congratulations, I wish them many years of happiness together.
posted by arcticseal at 8:16 PM on July 7, 2012


=!
posted by alms at 8:18 PM on July 7, 2012


I'm a foreigner in the US, so I had somehow missed that Barney Frank was gay. My impression of him has always been that he was the guy I wished was my congressman. Every time I hear him speak I end up grinning like an idiot, he always says what I think, but he says it better than I could. Congrats Barney and Jim!
posted by Joh at 8:19 PM on July 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


What a brave new world we live in, where the New York Times could report this as a straight up love story. It gives one hope.

(This meant in the unironic sense:

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't.

)
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:29 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


D'aaaawwwwww.
posted by The Whelk at 8:55 PM on July 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Aww. Congratulations!
posted by limeonaire at 8:57 PM on July 7, 2012


This makes me all warm and fuzzy!!! Many happy, fuzzy years to the newly MARRIED couple. I hope this trend spreads......
posted by pearlybob at 9:03 PM on July 7, 2012


Sigh. Newlyweds always have that happy glow, don't they?
Congrats to Barney & Jim!
posted by easily confused at 9:12 PM on July 7, 2012


This makes me so damn happy. Know what else makes me happy? The name of Jim Ready's business. Come on. Jim Of Some Trades? That's a pile of awesome.
posted by palomar at 9:20 PM on July 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


So glad to be a member of Metafilter where everyone greats this news with congratulations and huzzahs. Somewhere some shrivel-hearted troglodyte is trying to convince themselves to be upset. I love you guys.
posted by Nelson at 9:21 PM on July 7, 2012


Jim Of Most Trades. Not some. Most. Sigh. Edit pony!!
posted by palomar at 9:25 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm not upset but I think the wrong battle was fought. I am opposed to the institution of marriage and to me this is like trying to make slavery more acceptable by allowing whites to be slaves. Marriage was one of the key institutions in the systematic opression of women, putting a pretty face on it does not make it any better.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:39 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


So what you're saying is only gay men should be able to marry each other?
posted by Mitheral at 9:44 PM on July 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Get this, Jim Ready's family didn't even sell him to Frank. Take that traditional marriage!
posted by munchingzombie at 9:53 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


putting a pretty face on it

So what you're saying is, you think they're a cute couple too!
posted by hippybear at 9:54 PM on July 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


Mazel tov | מזל טוב !
posted by ericb at 10:05 PM on July 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mazel tov!
posted by Madamina at 10:06 PM on July 7, 2012


DARN YOU
posted by Madamina at 10:06 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm not upset but I think the wrong battle was fought.

From Sherry Wolf's The Unapologetic Case for Gay Marriage:
Same-sex marriage is a civil right that must be unapologetically defended by socialists and other leftists--not only for its own sake as a material and social benefit under capitalism, especially to working-class and poor LGBT people, but because the reform is not a barrier to further struggles, but can be a gateway to them instead.

Socialists and other leftists defend strikes for higher pay and better health care, despite the fact that even total victory means renegotiating the terms of exploitation, not ending the wage system itself. Radicals are at the forefront of the antiwar movement demanding immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the fact that the U.S. also maintains more than 700 bases on every continent.

Leftists take these stands for reforms because we understand that the capitalist system and its imperial might won't fall in one fell swoop. Reformist struggles themselves create the organizational and human material necessary for a further transformation of society. Moreover, it does make a difference in the here whether workers have more pay and couples have more rights.

[...] Professing hostility to gay marriage in the name of opposing the "hetero-normative institution" of marriage is like attacking demands for an end to the death penalty because the criminal injustice system would remain otherwise intact. Judged on that basis, all fights for reforms are at best irrelevant, and at worst reactionary.
posted by scody at 10:07 PM on July 7, 2012 [22 favorites]


I am opposed to the institution of marriage and to me this is like trying to make slavery more acceptable by allowing whites to be slaves.

Key Difference: people willingly enter into a marriage now. Nobody signs up to be a slave1. I see where you're coming from, but the very concept of what matrimony is has changed radically altered in the last century.

1Yes, I know you BDSM people do, but that's more "unf unf unf yeah," less "oh FUCK you OWN me and I gotta clean your shit?"
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:14 PM on July 7, 2012


changed radically altered

Uh, delete the "changed" there. It's 1:15AM here.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:15 PM on July 7, 2012


This is what I am saying. If the state recognizes marriages then everyone should be allowed to enter into it. I also have no problem with people entering into any types of voluntary relationship and having any private group or church they want recognize it.

I just don't think the state should recognize, and even promote, such an institution. Maybe now that one battle has bee won we can focus on the root issue and end state promotion of marriage.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:36 PM on July 7, 2012


I'm with Ad hominem. The state has no place valorizing and privileging specific kinds of long-term dyadic partnerships, to the exclusion of a wide range of other forms of human relationship. (Also, as a gay dude, I can't understand the urge to jump on the bandwagon of this ugly, antiquated ritual with a horribly oppressive history.). Having said that, they look happy and good luck to them.
posted by dontjumplarry at 11:13 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's a great passage, scody.
posted by brundlefly at 11:19 PM on July 7, 2012


I'm a bleeding edge radical who would like nothing more then to see the insinuation of marriage vanish like so much morning mist but I also live in America in this decade and I really want to be able to vist my beloved if he's sick in the hospital or confined in a jail so, you know, compromise.
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 PM on July 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


Yeah, as the partner who stopped working for a paycheck to instead stay home and keep the house and raise the children, I'm very glad there's a word for people like me. And that the word is "spouse" and not "sucker." Until domestic work is as recognized and supported as wage-earning work, we need protections for those who engage in it.
posted by KathrynT at 12:07 AM on July 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


What is the opposite of posting a "."?
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:41 AM on July 8, 2012


In this case, I think it's “♥”. It just takes a little more work.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 1:10 AM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joey Michaels, it's this:

!
posted by jaduncan at 1:12 AM on July 8, 2012


Right, I didn't mean to knock them on their happy occasion. I fully support people who want to make whatever commitment they choose, whether to one partner or many.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:42 AM on July 8, 2012


Yay!
posted by wallabear at 1:48 AM on July 8, 2012


Cute couple, good wishes to them and hoping someday all people can get married in their home state, gay or straight.
posted by mermayd at 3:23 AM on July 8, 2012


Supercute :) also I find the turn of phrase "who first volunteered that he was gay" to be a very nice workaround for the horrific, but more common "who first admitted to being gay".
posted by Iteki at 4:17 AM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


My impression of him has always been that he was the guy I wished was my congressman.

I moved from his district a few years ago, but when I was in it I always felt very lucky to be able to vote for him. I don't vote in earnest much because I don't feel that there's generally a difference between the candidates-- I usually go for a jokey write-in designed to piss off the election officials. But Frank actually made a difference and wasn't afraid to speak out about the idiocy and complacency that he saw before him. The greatest satisfaction I ever felt leaving the polls happened when I got to vote for both Representative Frank and Senator Kennedy. Seriously, I walked home humming "Roadrunner" because one line of it came to me: "I'm in love with Massachusetts."
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:46 AM on July 8, 2012


I disagree rather heartily that the state has no business recognizing/sanctioning/formalizing partnerships of a love & domestic nature. Especially since I'm about to spend the afternoon helping my cousin straighten out the paperwork following the unexpected death of her not-yet-40-year-old husband who certainly felt no need to have a will, being healthy and not into taking risks.

It sucks that we have to decide which relationships to recognize, but it sucks even more when institutions have no guidelines to distribute property and where people have to sue various government institutions every time they try to exercise their rights or the purpose of the relationships they have forged with one another. Civil marriage is what eases these processes. That's why civil marriage is a civil right and why we need to let gay couples marry each other if they want to.

Congratulations, Barney & Jim.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:48 AM on July 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


...allowing whites to be slaves...

Do you have a newsletter one could subscribe to?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 AM on July 8, 2012


This is what revolution tastes like.

It's not over yet, not by a long chalk, not in America and so not in the rest of the world, but it's happening and we're winning. With every openly gay person in a position of authority and respect, with every married gay person somewhere in the family, with every excuse gradually falling apart through continual disproof, it's happening.

And the revolutionaries are winning through open and conspicuous displays of love and happiness.

Keep the faith. I am.
posted by Devonian at 8:02 AM on July 8, 2012


My impression of him has always been that he was the guy I wished was my congressman.

Lest we confuse personality with politics:
And I believe very strongly people on the left are too prone to do things that are emotionally satisfying and not politically useful. I have a rule, and it’s true of Occupy, it’s true of the gay-rights movement: If you care deeply about a cause, and you are engaged in an activity on behalf of that cause that is great fun and makes you feel good and warm and enthusiastic, you’re probably not helping, because you’re out there with your friends and political work is much tougher and harder. I’m going to write about the history of the LGBT movement, partly to make the point that, in America at least, it’s the way you do progressive causes….

Pride Weekend was very important early on, because people didn’t know who we were, the hiddenness was a problem. Today, Pride has no political role. It’s a fun thing for people.
Barney Frank was elected as a protege of Tip O'Neil, he started his career as an insider and ended his career as an insider. He seems confused and a little angry about the way the country is being pushed in radical directions but doesn't seem to see the role of insiders like himself in this...
posted by ennui.bz at 8:19 AM on July 8, 2012


Pride Weekend was very important early on, because people didn’t know who we were, the hiddenness was a problem. Today, Pride has no political role. It’s a fun thing for people.

Obviously written by someone who lives in a major liberal coastal enclave and not by someone in any other part of the country.

Granted it's a while ago, but Pride in Boise involved political speechmaking on the steps of the capitol building. (It probably still does -- Idaho is a horrible place when it comes to being friendly to queers.)

Here in Spokane, it involves political speechmaking on the lawn just outside of City Hall. And unlike a lot of the bigger pride parades, the groups most likely to be seen marching are open and affirming churches and politicians.

And, well, here's the thing -- Pride has a political role, even if it is a fun thing for people. The opposite of pride is shame, which is what GLBT people had been living with for eons before Stonewall happened. While there may be big (or small) Gay Pride events in various places every year, there are choices which people make daily about whether to live with pride or with shame. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea that The Personal Is The Political, but even still in 2012, for GLBT persons, it is. And it is more so in the majority of the country which don't have big comfortable friendly fun gay pride events, but instead have small struggling organizations fighting against shame and fear and negative self-image simply to get a fraction of the community out to put a public face on their presence amongst the whole.

Look at things happening in places like St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia, where Pride events have been outlawed. Look at countries like Estonia or Belarus, which have outlawed even coming out and saying that you are homosexual.

There's a segment within US society which would love to enact these kinds of laws here. They're the same kind of people who have been using their political might to help shape Uganda's "kill the gays" legislation, which is still on the table and could possibly be enacted.

It may look from the outside as if there is a giant snowball of inevitability about gay rights, especially if you live in a major urban center in the US. But seriously... watch Gay USA every week, hear what the news really is about the state of GLBT rights in the US and around the world. It's not nearly the rosy picture some might paint. There's a LOT of work to be done, and yes, a lot of it will happen while surrounded by one's friends. Because with an issue like GLBT equality, where the personal is political, it's going to be won via the long fight: being visible and unavoidable and integral in each and every community until the general public realizes that there is no issue any longer.
posted by hippybear at 8:53 AM on July 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


Actually, let's swap out that Gay USA link with a search for that show at blip.tv. It actually has the up-to-date, most recent episodes, rather than lagging behind a month.

Gay USA at blip.tv
posted by hippybear at 9:09 AM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would have been hilarious if they invited Dick Armey.
posted by rhizome at 11:53 AM on July 8, 2012


It looks like DOMA is headed to the SCOTUS in the next session, so we'll see what comes of that.

To Your Health: "It is tempting to see, in the Chief Justice’s work in the health-care case, the possibility of some very long-range thinking. By siding with the liberals, Roberts insulates himself from charges of partisanship for the foreseeable future. This may be worth remembering next year, when the Court, led by the Chief Justice, is likely to strike down both the use of affirmative action in college admissions and the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And if, in the same year, the Justices uphold the noxious Defense of Marriage Act, many will deem Roberts’s motives beyond reproach."
posted by homunculus at 1:13 PM on July 8, 2012


ennui.bz: See, the thing is I agree with him. And while I think sentiments like that do come from an insider-y worldview, I don't think it is without value. The left has a tendency to view electoral politics with disdain -- how many times have you heard the refrain "the system is broken"? -- but that's really a self-destructive view. Look at the Tea Party in comparison to the Occupiers, and compare where they started and where they are now.

The Tea Party was willing to do the hard work of organizing, running candidates, and challenging its ideologically-aligned major party in primaries. It scared the shit out of the Republican party, and as a result it got a lot more of policy preferences through than it otherwise would have, and in some cases changed the policy preference of the party as a whole.

Occupy has not organized to elect any candidates, even in campaign and movements that were ideologically-aligned with their general principles (the attempted recall of Scott Walker, proto-Occupier Elizabeth Warren's campaign), nor have they challenged anybody in the Democratic party to, well, be less awful by running candidates in primaries or forcing policy commitments from existing candidates. All their energy was spent in the spectacle -- the emotionally satisfying part of it. As a result, we're not going to see any Occupy policy preferences pass that weren't already preferences of the Democratic establishment in the foreseeable future.

So Barney Frank is right in this regard, which I'm sad about because I'd rather he not be. But I'm moving away from the topic: Congratulations, Barney and Jim! May there be many years of bliss in your future.
posted by Weebot at 3:43 PM on July 8, 2012


This matters. Bigots prefer to keep their views quiet, coded and remote from personal interaction. They don't like personal but public actions such as this that compel them to be either polite or rudely open about their bigotry. Everyone who deals with Barney Frank will now have to make that decision whenever they interact with him and his spouse. I'm all for anything that makes the sort of people that Frank generally interacts with have to make that choice.
posted by Morrigan at 4:15 PM on July 8, 2012


Mr. Frank, 72, and Mr. Ready, 42 -- I congratulate Barney, and really do regret that he's leaving Capitol Hill, but a 30 year age gap is a little creepy.
posted by crunchland at 6:52 PM on July 8, 2012


I was just going to say the above...you know that same-sex marriage has achieved a sense of normalcy (probably wrong word but something similar to mundane-ness) when all I thought was "well, now there's a big age gap!" (As well as, "that young fellow, he is really quite handsome"!).
posted by bquarters at 7:30 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Half your age + four years is totally acceptable. Half 72 is 36 plus four years equals 40. Two extra years is plenty of space.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 9:07 PM on July 8, 2012


I always heard it as half your age plus seven - which works extremely well for ages 14 and up.

Which means that Barney Frank is a cradle robber - but after the younger person is 30, the rule doesn't matter so much anymore. They're a mature adult who can stand up for themselves and make their own choices.
posted by jb at 5:43 AM on July 9, 2012


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