Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of the US House of Representatives, is getting married this summer but he will not be inviting the first president in history to endorse same-sex marriage to the ceremony.
The Massachusetts congressman is marrying his longtime partner Jim Ready and explains to C-SPAN why President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama did not make the guest list.
‘If he and Michelle wanted to come, I would be delighted and honored to have him, but he will bring the Secret Service,’ Frank said. ‘I would be flattered to have the president do that, but it would ruin the party to have the Secret Service.’
‘I’m not critical of them,’ he added, ‘but they can go take their layered protection of the president somewhere else. Not to my party.’
Frank is 71 and Ready is 42. He told Charlie Rose in a January interview that he is ‘in love for the first time in my life.’
Frank first took office in Massachusetts’ fourth district in 1980. From 2007-2011, he served as chairman of the House Financial Services committee and it was during that time that he spearheaded work on the landmark financial regulation legislation that rewrote the rules for Wall Street after the 2008 financial crisis.
Frank is retiring at the end of his current term. After facing one of his toughest re-election bids in 2010, the 71-year-old congressman faced an even tougher battle at the polls this year due to congressional redistricting. His liberal positions made him a target for conservatives and his newly-configurated district included more conservative areas.