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Barney Frank marries Jim Ready in Newton, Massachusetts

Gay rights champion Barney Frank has become the first sitting congressman to enter into a same-sex marriage.

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House Financial Services ranking member Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) listens to testimony from Federal Reserve Bank Board Chairman Ben Bernanke on Capitol Hill February 29, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/AFP/Getty Images)

Congress has its first same-sex married couple after Representative Barney Frank married Jim Ready in Newton, Massachusetts, part of Frank’s district, on Saturday.

The low-key ceremony took place on the banks of the Charles River, according to an article in the The New York Times' Weddings/Celebrations section.

Among the 300 guests, Guests included Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, Sen. John Kerry, and Democratic representatives John F. Tierney, Dennis J. Kucinich, Steny H. Hoyer, Rosa DeLauro and Al Green.

According to the Boston Globe, President Barack Obama — who in May openly endorsed same-sex marriage — was not invited because Frank said he did not want the Secret Service inconveniencing the town or his guests.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Obama's Republican opponent, has said marriage should be limited to a union between one man and one woman.

Frank, 72, was one of the first openly gay politicians in national office, and has served in Congress since 1981, while Ready, 42, lives in Ogunquit, Maine, the Globe wrote.

A statement from Frank's spokesman Harry Gural said Ready, a photographer, ran a small business specializing in custom awnings, carpentry, painting, welding, and other services. 

"I’m thrilled for him," US Representative James P. McGovern, a Worcester Democrat, reportedly said of Frank, who also served eight years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

"Massachusetts has always led the way, but Barney has been out front on civil rights issues for a while."

Massachusetts in 2004 became the first state in the country where same-sex couples could legally marry, and since then more than 18,000 same-sex couples have tied the knot there, according to Reuters.

Frank, a former chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, has been an openly gay congressman since the late 1980s.

Along with gay rights, he has also taken on Wall Street as a champion of financial reform, helping to draft the Dodd-Frank bill signed into law by Obama in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis.

Frank reportedly met Ready at a political fundraiser in Maine in 2005.

“I told him I had a crush on him for 20 years,” Ready told the Times, adding that as a teenager he was inspired by Frank’s public declaration that he was gay.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120707/barney-frank-jim-ready-gay-marriage-congress-newton-massachusetts