Barney Frank Weds Longtime Partner, Jim Ready

James Ready and Barney Frank attend the Broadway opening of "Rag Time" on November 15, 2009 in New York City. Janette Pellegrini/Getty

Rep. Barney Frank and Jim Ready have pledged to love one another not just in sickness and in health — but also "in Congress or in retirement, under the Democrats or the Republicans, on MSNBC or on Fox."

The 72-year-old Frank, who announced last fall that he would not be seeking a seventeenth congressional term, exchanged vows with his longtime boyfriend in a Newton, Mass. ceremony Saturday attended by Washington hardhitters such as Senator John Kerry, Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Steny H. Hoyer, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Frank met Ready, a carpenter and welder, at a fundraiser in 2005.

"I told him I had a crush on him for 20 years," Ready, 42, recounted to the New York Times, admitting that he looked up to the congressman as a teen for his decision to open up about his sexuality — the first sitting congressman to do so.

The timing of their nuptials was important to the pair — by making it official when they did, just a few months before Frank's term runs out, Frank is able to ride the rest of his political career out as the country's first representative in a same-sex union.

"I think it's important that my colleagues interact with a married gay man" the Bayonne, New Jersey-native explained to New York magazine in April.

Ready, for his part, hopes the couple's public declaration of their love and commitment to one another — and the fact that so many Washington power-players have showed their support for his relationship with Frank — will inspire gay teens across the country currently struggling with their identities.

"The kids that are going to see us and feel strong enough to come out and be who they are. That gives me more encouragement that I'm doing the right thing," Ready told the New York Times.

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