Republican house speaker John Boehner has sworn in two incoming gay congressmen with their partners and families present despite his opposition to same-sex marriage and federal benefits going to same-sex couples.
Boehner swore in Representative Mark Pocan on Thursday with his husband Philip Frank standing by.
He also swore in Representative Sean Patrick Maloney with his long term partner Randy Florke and their children present.
Both men are Democrats who were swept into office during the 2012 US Presidential Election.
Maloney is the first openly gay congressman to represent New York state while Pocan inherited the congressional seat of Tammy Baldwin – the first openly gay woman in the US House of Representatives who became the first openly gay woman to be elected to the US Senate in 2012.
Things almost went awry for Maloney’s signing in ceremony as while his family were waiting to be called for the signing in his daughter Essie announced she was going to throw up and he had to rush her to the congressional ladies bathroom.
‘I was sure she was going to throw up under the press gallery and that would be the story of my first day in Congress,’ Maloney told the Wall Street Journal the following day.
‘Instead, we made it just into the women’s room right here. Was my first trip to the women’s room on the House floor. Probably my last.’
Boehner and fellow Republicans in Congress have spent nearly $2 million defending the Defense of Marriage Act which denies federal recognition to same-sex marriages since the Obama Administration announced the government would no longer defend the law in court.