Barney Frank to marry life partner Jim Ready

Rep. Barney Frank, a gay rights pioneer in Congress, will marry his partner, Reuters reported.

The 71-year-old Democrat announced on Thursday he will marry his longtime partner Jim Ready, 42. Frank has yet to announce when he and Ready will be married, but the ceremony will take place in Massachusetts, the Boston Herald reported. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts since 2004.

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“We don’t have any more details at this time,” said Harry Gural, Frank’s spokesman, the Boston Herald reported.

Frank has served 16 terms as Massachusetts’ congressman and announced in November he plans to retire when his term ends in 2013, admitting redistricting played a role in his decision. He was elected in 1981 and was one of the first openly gay politicians to serve in office at the national level, Reuters reported.

In 2008, Ready was seen wearing a green blazer with the traditional congressional spouse pin when Frank asked if his partner was allowed in House Chamber, The Hill reported. Ready was not allowed into the Chamber, due to the rule that no spouse or life partner is allowed on the floor of the Chamber. Only the lawmaker’s children are allowed the privilege.

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In 2010 Ready was also caught in a video, making fun of Frank’s Republican opponent Sean Bielat after a debate, calling him “dude,” mocking Bielat’s jokes, and telling him to “get used to” having his photo taken, the Boston Herald reported.

Frank’s partner also caused him a bit of controversy in 2009, when Ready was charged for having pot plants in his home in 2007. Frank was allegedly present at the time, although he said he wouldn’t have been able to identify a marijuana plant if he saw one, the Boston Herald reported.

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